Canada's Economic Action Plan creates jobs and improves housing on reserve in
New Brunswick

ELSIPOGTOG FIRST NATION, NB, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada announced today an investment of $3.2 million, as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, to improve housing conditions in First Nation communities across New Brunswick.

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon, Member of Parliament for Miramichi, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), made the announcement along with members of the Elsipogtog First Nation.

"Our Government's Economic Action Plan is delivering support for improvements in housing conditions for members who live in the First Nation communities in New Brunswick and we are also stimulating the local economy by creating jobs," said MP O'Neill-Gordon.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada has committed $400 million over the next two years to help First Nation communities build needed new housing, repair and remediate existing non-profit housing for their members, and complement housing programs offered by CMHC. This investment will also provide an economic stimulus for many First Nations and surrounding areas by creating jobs.

The application calls for the new funding initiatives under Canada's Economic Action Plan were very successful and generated a large number of applications. As a result, CMHC will be fully allocating all the available funding for this fiscal year.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, $3.2 million in federal investments will be made available to 12 First Nations communities in New Brunswick to address the immediate housing needs.

CMHC will allocate $2.2 million to retrofit 222 social housing units on-reserve in New Brunswick as well as $991,000 for subsidy associated with nine new housing units. First Nation communities across the province receiving funding include: Burnt Church, Eel Ground, Eel River Bar, Elsipogtog, Fort Folly, Indian Island, Kingsclear, Madawaska Maliseet, Metepenagiag, St. Mary's, Tobique and Woodstock.

"It is with great pride and excitement that the federal initiative stimulus package along with CMHC, are working with the Elsipogtog First Nation. By strengthening this working relationship with the current government, all parties are listening to the overwhelming basic needs of Elsipogtog people: adequate housing & shelter," said Chief Jesse J Simon, Elsipogtog First Nation. "For far too long, my people have suffered when we work in isolation. Now comes the time to show the province of New Brunswick, other First Nations, and the rest of the country that great things can be accomplished when we set aside our political differences in the best interest of humanity. I hope that this is a first step towards overcoming immense challenges for all First Nation communities. Hand in hand, side by side, back to back; we are all much stronger now!"

More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.

    
               INVESTMENT TO IMPROVE ON-RESERVE SOCIAL HOUSING
    

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting First Nations through targeted investments to build and renovate housing. Today's announcement is the latest in a series of commitments by the federal government to improve housing conditions in First Nations communities.

This commitment is in addition to the federal government's annual investment, through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), of approximately $277 million for on-reserve housing needs, and INAC's investment of approximately $118 million annually for First Nations on-reserve in the form of shelter allowance payments under the Income Assistance Program.

Under Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada has provided $400 million over the next two years to support on-reserve housing. Of the $400 million committed, $250 million will be delivered through CMHC over two years for the creation of new on-reserve housing ($125 million) and the 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 (INAC) 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.

In 2007, the Government invested $300 million in the First Nations Market Housing Fund, which encourages market-based housing on-reserve and could create 25,000 new housing units over the next decade.

    
               INVESTMENT TO IMPROVE ON-RESERVE SOCIAL HOUSING

                              Funding Breakdown
                   New Brunswick First Nation Communities


    Burnt Church                          Kingsclear
    ------------                          ----------
    Total CEAP Funding: $355,700          Total CEAP Funding: $338,725
    Retrofit: $135,700 (7 units)          Retrofit: $338,725 (23 units)
    New Construction: $220,000 (2 unit)

    Eel Ground                            Madawaska Maliseet
    ----------                            ------------------
    Total CEAP Funding: $268,175          Total CEAP Funding: $56,000
    Retrofit: $158,175 (15 units)         Retrofit: $56,000 (12 units)
    New Construction: $110,000 (1 unit)

    Eel River Bar                         Metepenagiag
    -------------                         ------------
    Total CEAP Funding: $67,250           Total CEAP Funding: $180,100
    Retrofit: $67,250 (6 units)           Retrofit: $69,100 (16 units)
    New Construction $110,000 (1 unit)    New Construction: $111,000 (1 unit)

    Elsipogtog                            St. Mary's Total
    ----------                            ----------------
    Total CEAP Funding: $686,700          CEAP Funding: $634,421
    Retrofit:  $356,700 (30 units)        Retrofit: $524,422 (75 units)
    New Construction: $330,000 (3 units)  New Construction: $110,000 (1 unit)

    Fort Folly                            Tobique
    ----------                            -------
    Total CEAP Funding: $44,500           Total CEAP Funding: $269,310
    Retrofit: $44,500 (4 units)           Retrofit: $269,310 (15 units)

    Indian Island                         Woodstock
    -------------                         ---------
    Total CEAP Funding: $49,110           Total CEAP Funding: $146,027
    Retrofit: $49,110 (3 units)           Retrofit: $146,027 (16 units)
    

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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; Patricia Montreuil, CMHC Atlantic, (506) 851-2229; Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799; Peter Levi, Band Manager, Elsipogtog First Nation, (506) 521-1911


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