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1110 - Humanitarian Assistance Policy


The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures under which the City may provide basic humanitarian assistance to persons whose homes are flooded as a result of a backup in a city owned and maintained sanitary or storm sewer line, or break of a water main regardless of fault.  These provisions are not intended to and do not imply fault.  Neither do the provisions of this policy create any contractual obligation between the parties.  Assistance provided by the City shall not be construed as an admission of liability nor does it imply a duty nor any negligence or responsibility on the part of the City for such damage.  Any payment or assistance provided herein is strictly voluntary on the part of the City.

This policy shall not, in any way supercede, change or abrogate the State Governmen­tal Immunity Act, Utah Code Annotated, Section 63-30-1, et seq., as amended, and its application to the City, or establish in any person a right to sue the City under this policy, nor does it create a cause of action against the City.

Guidelines For Granting Assistance

    Assistance is intended for extreme situations that pose an undue hardship on citizens. Circumstances that qualify for humanitarian assistance are as follows:

    1. Sanitary sewer backup from a City line into a private residence;
    2. Storm water damage to a private residence only when it has occurred multiple times, and the City determines that flooding resulted because Layton City’s storm water collection system doesn’t meet City design standards.  Damages from large storms exceeding the design capacity of Layton’s storm water system, or from storm water originating from neighboring entities do not qualify.
    3. Water damage to a private residence originating from a backup in a City maintained land drain only when it has occurred multiple times.
    4. Water damage to a private residence from a broken city owned water main.
    5. Damage from other abnormal or unusual circumstances as determined by the City excluding occurrences resulting from catastrophic and natural occurrences, such as earthquakes, avalanches, slides, and those that are weather related.
    6. Other circumstances as determined by the City Manager.

    Criteria for Assistance

    The determination for providing humanitarian assistance shall be based on whether the occupants and/or homeowner suffered an otherwise uninsured property loss under circumstances where the occupant and/or homeowner acted responsibly to avoid the loss.

    Humanitarian assistance shall not be provided where the loss is fully covered by private insurance or when the loss is caused by an intentional or negligent act of the homeowner or occupant, their agents, or a member of their family or household.

    Humanitarian assistance may be reduced if the loss is partially covered by private insurance or in an instance where the occupants and/or homeowner did not cause the problem, but failed to act responsibly to minimize the loss.

    Assistance is at the sole discretion of the City in both the determination of eligibility and amount and shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Extent of Assistance Provided

    The City may arrange to provide a basic level of assistance, usually through the services of a private contractor, to help restore the damaged living area to a sanitary and livable condition.  Assistance provided by the City shall be limited to:

    ·         extracting the sewerage or water; and

    ·         removing the damaged pad, and carpet (if necessary); and

    ·         flushing and disinfecting the affected floors; and

    ·         cleaning and deodorizing the affected carpet and replacing the affected pad and relaying the carpet; or,

    ·         in the case of a sanitary sewer backup, fully replacing the pad and replacing the carpet on a depreciated basis.

    Assistance may include the moving of contents when occupants are unable to do it themselves. Payment would normally be made from the City directly to the contractor for services specified herein.  For other flooding events other than a sanitary sewer backup, if the carpet cannot be cleaned, or the homeowner chooses not to keep the carpet, the City may offer the homeowner an amount equivalent to what it would have cost the City to clean and relay the affected carpet, including the cost of affected pad.  The intent of this policy is to help the occupants get their home back to a livable condition as soon as possible.  The City may reimburse reasonable costs incurred by the occupants in calling a drain cleaning service before they knew there was a problem in a City main.  Claims for damages beyond the scope of this policy shall be handled through the City's claims handling process.

    Other types of humanitarian assistance may be authorized by the City Manager as determined on a case-by-case basis.


      1. The Risk Manager should be notified by the Public Works Depart­ment as soon as possible following a flooding event into a private residence.
      2. The Risk Manager will confirm with Public Works that the flooding originated from a City owned and maintained line and determine if the event qualifies for humanitarian assistance under this policy.
      3. If the event qualifies for assistance, the Risk Manager will ask the occupants or homeowner if the flooding is covered by insurance.  If so, they will be directed to handle the problem through their insurance company.

      If the occurrence does not appear to be covered by insurance, the Risk Manager may arrange with a local cleaning service to provide the services as described in this policy as soon as possible.

      When the Risk Manager is unavailable, the Public Works Director or Water/Sewer Supervisor may complete steps 1 through 3 above and expedite the process.  The Risk Manager should follow up any questions regarding available insurance coverage.

      Periodically, the Risk Manager should ask local cleaning services to submit price quotes for their services to ensure the City is getting fair pricing. 

      In the event the occupants and/or homeowner initiate a call to a cleaning service themselves the City may still provide assistance in accordance with this policy, but the City shall not pay for cleaning costs above those considered reasonable by the City.

      Humanitarian assistance costs as outlined herein shall be approved by the Risk Manager or City Manager.

      Enacted, 7/22/1993
      Amended, 4/5/1995
      Amended, 6/4/2008, Previous Policy 1110
      Amended, 1/23/2001, Previous Policy 1110
      Amended, 11/13/2003, Previous Policy 1110
      Amended, 1/7/2016, Previous Policy 1110