Canada's Economic Action Plan creates jobs and improves housing on reserve in
Nova Scotia

DEBERT, NS, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada announced today an investment of $3.8 million, as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, to improve housing conditions in First Nation communities across Nova Scotia.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister Responsible for the Atlantic Gateway, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador; and Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley 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 Millbrook First Nation community.

"Our Government's Economic Action Plan is delivering support for improvements in housing conditions for members who live in First Nations communities in Nova Scotia 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 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.

Some $3.8 million in federal investments will be made available to 13 First Nations in Nova Scotia to address immediate housing needs.

CMHC will allocate $2.57 million to retrofit 229 housing units on-reserve in Nova Scotia, as well as $1.22 million for subsidy associated with 12 new housing units to be constructed in seven First Nations communities in Nova Scotia. First Nation communities across the province receiving funding include: Acadia First Nation, Annapolis Valley First Nation, Bear River First Nation, Chapel Island First Nation, Eskasoni First Nation, Glooscap First Nation, Indian Brook First Nation (Shubenacadie Band Council), Membertou First Nation, Millbrook First Nation, Paqtnkek First Nation, Pictou Landing First Nation, Wagmatcook First Nation, and Waycobah First Nation.

"This is wonderful news for our community," said Chief Lawrence Paul, Millbrook First Nation. "It came at the right time and allowed us to accommodate a family with special needs, as well as address overcrowding in some units. This program has also exposed us to new building practices which will be beneficial for years to come."

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 provides $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
                     Nova Scotia First Nation Communities

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Acadia First Nation                   Annapolis Valley First Nation
    -------------------                   -----------------------------

    Total CEAP Funding: $272,272          Total CEAP Funding: $71,200
    Retrofit: $162,272 (10 units)         Retrofit: $71,200 (12 units)
    New Construction: $110,000 (1 unit)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bear River First Nation               Chapel Island First Nation
    -----------------------               --------------------------

    Total CEAP Funding: $71,500           Total CEAP Funding: $190,735
    Retrofit: $71,500 (10 units)          Retrofit: $80,735 (5 units)
                                          New Construction: $110,000 (1 unit)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Eskasoni First Nation                 Glooscap First Nation
    ---------------------                 ---------------------

    Total CEAP Funding: $1,085,400        Total CEAP Funding: $43,500
    Retrofit: $855,400 (57 units)         Retrofit: $43,500 (6 units)
    New Construction: $230,000 (3 units)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indian Brook First Nation             Membertou First Nation
    -------------------------             ----------------------

    (Shubenacadie Band Council)           Total CEAP Funding: $548,181
    Total CEAP Funding: $580,305          Retrofit: $328,181 (44 units)
    Retrofit: $360,305 (29 units)         New Construction: $220,000 (2
    New Construction: $220,000 (2 units)  units)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Millbrook First Nation                Paqtnkek Mi'kmaq Nation
    ----------------------                -----------------------

    Total CEAP Funding: $324,000          Total CEAP Funding: $81,500
    Retrofit: $104,000 (4 units)          Retrofit: $81,500 (12 units)
    New Construction: $220,000 (2 units)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pictou Landing First Nation           Wagmatcook First Nation
    ---------------------------           -----------------------

    Total CEAP Funding: $99,100           Total CEAP Funding: $293,000
    Retrofit: $99,100 (19 units)          Retrofit: $182,000 (12 units)
                                          New Construction: $111,000 (1 unit)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Waycobah First Nation
    ---------------------

    Total CEAP Funding: $135,011
    Retrofit: $135,011 (9 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; Giselle Thibault, CMHC, (902) 426-8320; Charles Sauriol, CMHC, Media Relations, (613) 748-2799; Lloyd Johnson, Millbrook First Nation, (902) 897-9199


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