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Feds to ‘fast-track’ 20 homes for Lytton First Nation, 3 years after wildfire

$1.3M for 20 new units, construction of 175 more homes in next decade: Indigenous Services Minister
Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu rises during Question Period, in Ottawa, Monday, April 15, 2024. Hajdu was stopped at Lytton First Nation on April 24, 2024 to announce $1.3 million for the First Nation through the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Lytton First Nation is getting $1.3 million to “fast-track” 20 new housing units in the next three years, and it comes nearly three years after the devastating wildfire.

The funding is also meant to kick start the construction of 175 more homes in the next decade, Canada’s Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu announced during a stop in Lytton Wednesday (April 24) while highlighting the federal government’s 2024 budget.

Hajdu said the funding will be used to incentivize building new units on existing properties and developing new fire-resilient, energy-efficient and accessible housing designs.

Lytton First Nation chief Niakia Hanna said as Lytton goes into rebuild from the fires in 2021 and 2022, being able to determine going forward how the Nation will better utilize housing and infrastructure funding is important and need for generations.

“And government is starting to realize that housing is an issue that is needed everywhere.”

The fast-tracked housing comes nearly three years after a wildfire ripped through the Village of Lytton and the surrounding area, burning the majority of buildings to the ground.

READ MORE: Lytton sues CN, CP rail and Transport Canada over 2021 fire that razed village

The Village of Lytton only ended its local state of emergency in June 2023, two years after the wildfire swept through the village on June 30, 2021.

Hajdu said there is not a conversation people can have in this country without climate changing coming up.

“Over the past few years, Lytton First Nation has been on the front lines of climate change. I am persistently inspired by the Community’s leadership and resilience to rebuild after the devastating 2021 and 2022 wildfires. Today’s announcement is another step forward to building the community back stronger and ensuring all members have a place to call home.”

The new funding, according to a release from the government, is in addition to more than $119 million in funding to Lytton First Nation and the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal from Indigenous Services Canada for rebuilding and recovery after the devastating wildfire in 2021, as well as wildfires in 2022.

That funding includes:

• $43.3 million to replace all 39 on-reserve units lost in the 2021 fire

• $56.7 million for interim housing, interim community buildings, evacuee support, recovery staffing, renovations to 11 homes and debris removal

• $17.6 million for 28 additional homes for Nlaka’pamux members who were living in the Village of Lytton when the 2021 wildfire hit, and would like to return to Lytton First Nation

• More than $577,000 in Emergency Management Assistance program for the First Nation to establish a pilot project to increase capacity, resources, and fire risks preparedness

Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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