Application process open for funding to improve on-reserve housing



    OTTAWA, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of
Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Chuck Strahl,
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians, announced today that First Nations with
ready-to-go social housing construction or renovation projects can begin
applying for funding committed through Canada's Economic Action Plan.
    "Our Government is committed to increasing the supply of safe and
affordable housing on-reserve," said Minister Finley. "Today's announcement
will help provide the necessary funding to improve housing conditions that
will lead to stronger, healthier and more sustainable First Nation
communities."
    Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $400 million over the next two
years to support on-reserve housing. The funds are dedicated to new social
housing projects, the remediation of existing social housing and complementary
housing activities through programming from CMHC and Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada (INAC). This funding will also provide an economic stimulus for
many First Nations and rural areas by creating jobs, developing skilled trades
and creating small businesses.
    "As of today, First Nations can start applying for the on-reserve housing
funding that was committed through Canada's Economic Action Plan," said
Minister Strahl. "Investments like these help enable our government to work
with First Nations to create new options that will provide a means to build
equity and generate wealth in their communities."
    "While we know First Nations continue to face serious housing challenges,
we welcome this necessary and wise new investment and we encourage all First
Nations to improve their existing homes, build new homes and thereby create
thousands of new jobs and skills in our communities. We encourage the
Government of Canada to quickly make these resources available to First
Nations and we will monitor and assist this process as needed," said National
Chief Phil Fontaine.
    Of the $400 million committed through Canada's Economic Action Plan, $250
million will be delivered through CMHC over two years for the creation of new
on-reserve housing ($125 million) and repair and renovation of existing
federally-assisted on-reserve social housing ($125 million). The remaining
$150 million will be delivered by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for lot
servicing, renovations, new construction of high-density multi-unit dwellings,
and renovations to support the conversion of band-owned housing to private
ownership.

    To access CMHC-specific funding, First Nations can send their submissions
directly to their CMHC regional office. To obtain an application or for more
information on CMHC funding visit: www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan. First
Nations will receive an application package for INAC funding in the mail
shortly and are encouraged to complete the Application/Expression of Interest
Form and return it to the INAC Regional Office.

    More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action
Plan, a plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the
global recession, can be found at:
http://www.budget.gc.ca/2009/home-accueil-eng.asp.




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Bakos, Office of the Honourable Diane
Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, (819)
994-2482; Nina Chiarelli, Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, (819)
997-0002; Kristen Scheel, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799; INAC Media
Relations, (819) 953-1160


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