OAHS launches FIMUR Assisted Homeownership Program

Official Signing of FIMUR Housing Program (April 16, 2009). Seated left to right: Sylvia Maracle (Chair OAHS, ED OFIFC); Dawn Harvard (Director OAHS, President ONWA), Jim Watson (Minister Municipal Affairs and Housing), Doug Wilson (Director OAHS, CAO MNO). Standing left to right: Brad Duguid (Minister of Aboriginal Affairs), Donna Cansfield (Minister Natural Resources), Michael Gravelle (Minister Northern Development and Mines), and Don McBain (Executive Director OAHS). (CNW Group/Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services)


    SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, Sept. 1 /CNW/ - Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
(OAHS) is pleased to announce the launch of the First Nation, Inuit, Métis
Urban & Rural Housing (FIMUR) Assisted Homeownership Program.
    The goal of the FIMUR Assisted Homeownership Program is to help address
housing needs for Aboriginal people in Ontario living off-reserve, designed
and delivered based on community engagement processes, to move from rental to
homeownership.
    The program will provide funding through forgivable loans for the purpose
of purchasing primary residences for a limited number of eligible
self-identifying Aboriginal individuals and families with low- to
moderate-income. Eligible homes can be in off-reserve urban communities and
rural locations across Ontario excluding the Greater Toronto Areas. The value
of a home cannot exceed the average market value in the respective area.
    Applicants will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis, against
the mandatory criteria. Priority will be given to those who are currently
residing in social housing, and families escaping situations of violence.
    For complete details, including information on the Off-Reserve Aboriginal
Housing Trust (OAHT) engagement process, Program Guidelines which contain
application forms, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) please go
to http://www.OntarioAboriginalHousing.ca, call 1-866-391-1061, or write to:Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
                 Attn: FIMUR Assisted Homeownership Program
                          500 Bay Street, Suite 200
                         Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 1X5About the FIMUR Housing Program

    The provincial Off-Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust (OAHT) engagement
process was led in partnership by the Ontario Federation Indian Friendship
Centre (OFIFC), Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and Ontario Native Women's
Association (ONWA) from April to August 2008 across the province, with the
exception of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
    Subsequent to the provincial OAHT engagement process, the OFIFC, MNO and
ONWA prepared the Ontario Off-Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust (OAHT) Report
which identified the specific housing needs, priorities and issues of
Aboriginal people living off-reserve in Ontario as identified in the
engagement process, and provided Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
(MMAH) with policy recommendations on the design, which included a
Homeownership forgivable loan component in the amount of $6 million.About Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS)

    OAHS is a Corporation without share capital that is mandated to:
    -   provide housing and repair programs with a specific focus on the
        Aboriginal community, to be delivered cost-effectively;
    -   provide central policy/program administration and develop training
        for Aboriginal Housing provider groups;
    -   undertake responsibility for matters related to socially assisted,
        culturally appropriate off-reserve housing; and
    -   utilize the talent, skills and experience of the Aboriginal community
        to the greatest extent possible in the allocation, delivery,
        construction and long term management of programs.

    The OAHS Board is comprised of representatives appointed by Métis Nation
of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, and Ontario
Native Women's Association.

    For more information on OAHS, please go to: http://www.OntarioAboriginalHousing.ca

    "Supported by the Province of Ontario"

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
For further information: Media Contact: Don McBain, Executive Director,
Tel: (705) 256-1876 ext 202, E-mail: dmcbain@oahssc.ca; Program Contact:
Justin Marchand, New Programs Delivery Manager, Tel: (705) 256-1876 ext 213,
E-mail: jmarchand@oahssc.ca