Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by T.S. Giilck

EXPANDING THE HOUSING SUPPLY – Chief Stephen Charlie of the Liard First Nation and Patty Hajdu, the federal minister of Indigenous Services, discuss the various housing initiatives during Friday’s news conference in Whitehorse.

Federal minister updates housing projects

Federal cabinet minister Patty Hajdu was in Whitehorse on Friday to provide an update on how some previously-announced projects are moving along.

By T.S. Giilck on February 26, 2024

Federal cabinet minister Patty Hajdu was in Whitehorse on Friday to provide an update on how some previously-announced projects are moving along.

Hajdu, the minister of Indigenous Services, is still in the territory today holding various meetings.

In the last three federal budgets, $17 million in funding for housing projects was provided to the governments of the Liard First Nation, Ross River Dena Council and the White River First Nation.

The funding from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has constructed 33 new homes and refurbished an additional four homes.

“The allocation of these funds toward new and renovated homes is anticipated to play an important role in enhancing the quality of life for northern First Nations,” Hajdu said.

“This investment will make a concrete difference in the lives of many families in Liard First Nation, Ross River Dena Council, and the White River First Nation,” said the minister, who represents a Thunder Bay, Ont. riding.

“Quality and appropriate housing is critical to our well-being. It is also essential for children to have a fair chance of success.

“These projects have been led by First Nations since the beginning, and they have worked tirelessly to get the houses built during a challenging time.

“The federal government will be at every First Nation’s side as they take the lead to build more homes.”

In the Liard First Nation, the funding supported site preparation, lot servicing, and the construction of a long-awaited nine-unit complex to house elders within the community.

The First Nation also completed three tiny homes and renovated four other homes.

Additionally, the Liard First Nation prepared and serviced lots for the purchase of six modular homes.

According to a news release accompanying a news conference held Friday at the MacBride Museum, the work on the 18 homes and four renovations progressed despite the shortage of tradespeople and rising costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ross River Dena Council built a duplex and two houses while acquiring five trailers, and the White River First Nation constructed a duplex and four houses.

“Housing matters — we are working in partnership with the federal government for LFN (Liard First Nation), with the vision of health, security, employment and prosperity, said Chief Stephen Charlie of the Liard First Nation.

“My vision was to look at health and wellness and security and employment,” Charlie said. “So how do you bring all these things together?”

One of the key things, he added, was creating a log house-building business to “employ our people and build our homes.”

Fifteen homes are underway at the moment, Charlie added.

He said a housing committee will select the residents who will live in the housing. That process isn’t underway yet.

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley was also on hand for the update.

“Housing in Yukon communities continues to be a pressing need. The new and refurbished affordable homes announced today will help to provide safety and stability, access to jobs, and peace of mind for families looking to make ends meet,” Hanley said

“It is through continued partnerships with Yukon First Nations that we can address housing gaps and create more prosperous communities for all.”

Comments (4)

Up 13 Down 4

Lawrence Bredy on Feb 29, 2024 at 7:59 am

I would be remiss if I didn't comment on the use of the term "projects". Our City loves to constantly look at "other jurisdictions" to gain some insight on various ideas to implement around town. If they looked at "other jurisdictions" and took note on what goes on in the "projects", the powers that be may want to reconsider. You reap what you sew!

Up 19 Down 5

Jim on Feb 28, 2024 at 7:38 pm

At Jose, one can only hope your comment is sarcasm

Up 11 Down 33

Jose on Feb 27, 2024 at 3:55 am

As an unbiased commenter I just want to say the Liberals are sure great, every vote counts.

Up 9 Down 23

Incredible Performance on Feb 26, 2024 at 4:43 pm

I know who I am voting for.

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