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

CONNE RIVER, NL, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced today an investment of $140,000 as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to improve housing conditions for the Miawpukek First Nation community.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense, Minister Responsible for the Atlantic Gateway and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia and 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 improving housing conditions for those who live in First Nation communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. 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 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 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 application calls for the year one (2009/10) 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 the fiscal year.

The year two (2010/11) application call is now open. Applications for this second round of funding will be accepted between February 1, 2010 and February 22, 2010.

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 $100,000 for renovations, CMHC will allocate $140,000 to retrofit 21 social housing units in Miawpukek to improve living conditions in this First Nations' community.

"Under the Canada's Economic Action Plan, retrofits on some of our Section 95 homes that are not normally able to be completed under regular budgets are now being done thanks to this initiative. While governments still have some improvements to make with regards to housing on reserve, we are certainly thankful for this great start," said Saqamaw Mi'sel Joe, Miawpukek First Nation. "We are also thankful for the continued support from our partners and funders such as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in Halifax and Indian Affairs in Amherst, Nova Scotia."

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: Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799; Katherine Leblanc, CMHC Altantic, (709) 687-2194; Michelle Bakos, Office of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, (819) 994-2482


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