There are no victims or deceased mentioned in the given text. : Northern Alberta Community Urges Municipality to Address Housing Crisis

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Leaders from a community in northern Alberta are urging the regional municipality to expedite the approval of permits for new home construction in order to address the housing crisis. A recent report by the Rural Development Network has revealed that the hamlet of Conklin, located 350 kilometers northeast of Edmonton, is experiencing a shortage of housing supply, leaving residents living in unsafe conditions.

The CEO of the Conklin Resource Development Advisory Committee, Scott Duguid, stated that there are 15 prefabricated homes ready for assembly in the community, but they require inspection and approval from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. However, Duguid expressed frustration with the municipality, claiming that they have canceled inspections multiple times and do not prioritize the issue.

In response, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo released a statement acknowledging the delays in inspecting the site for the construction completion certificate. The inspection took place on November 29, 2023, and deficiencies were noted, including grading of the site. These deficiencies must be addressed before the developer can apply for development permits.

The homes in question are situated in the Pine Lane subdivision, which has been in development since 2020. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo explained that the raw land initially required infrastructure, such as utilities, roads, water, and sewage, to support residential development. The subdivision process, consisting of eight steps, was undertaken by the municipality, and six of these steps have been completed.

To aid in addressing the housing crisis, Cenovus Energy Inc. pledged $50 million in 2020 to construct homes in six Indigenous communities, including Conklin. Cenovus has confirmed that the first houses in Conklin are scheduled for completion next year. The energy company has funded over 100 homes as part of their Indigenous housing initiative.

Residents of Conklin continue to face dire living conditions, with many lacking heat and running water. The new report by the Rural Development Network revealed that 86% of respondents from the community identified as housing insecure. This figure aligns with previous survey results from 2018, which also reported 85% of respondents facing housing insecurity.

One resident, Grace Richards, shared her experience of not having running water or electricity at her home. She relies on an extension cord from her neighbor for power and uses a propane cook stove top for heating. Richards expressed her desire for basic amenities, such as functioning lights and running water, highlighting the urgent need for improved housing conditions in Conklin.

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