Canada's Economic Action Plan creates jobs and improves housing on reserve in
Newfoundland and Labrador

SHESHATSHIU, NL, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada announced today an investment of more than $450,000 as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to improve housing conditions for the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation community.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, Minister for the Atlantic Gateway and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and the Honourable Fabian Manning, Senator for Newfoundland and Labrador, 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 today.

"Our Government's Economic Action Plan is delivering support for improvements in housing conditions for members who live in First Nation communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and we are also stimulating the local economy by creating jobs," said Minister MacKay.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada has committed $400 million over 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 and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). This investment will also provide an economic stimulus for many First Nations and surrounding areas by creating jobs.

"The need for suitable and affordable housing for First Nation people is well recognized," said Senator Manning. "One key part of the solution is social housing, such as the projects we are supporting in Sheshatshiu."

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, some $594,711 in CMHC investments will be made available to First Nations in Newfoundland and Labrador to address immediate housing needs.

In addition to INAC's investment of $75,000 for renovations, CMHC will allocate $124,711 to retrofit five social housing units in Sheshatshiu as well as $330,000 for subsidy associated with two new housing units to be constructed in this First Nation community.

"The allocation announced today under Canada's Economic Action Plan allows us to help several families to improve their housing situation. As we encourage the use of local supplies and labour, the benefits of this funding will be shared with many other families in the community and region. I want to thank CMHC as without this stimulus from the Action Plan, we would be unable to help these deserving families," said Chief Anastasia Qupee from Sheshatshiu.

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.

Backgrounder attached.

    
               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.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media: Michelle Bakos, Office of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, (819) 994-2482; Katherine Leblanc, CMHC Altantic, (709) 772-5973; Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799


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