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

JAMES SMITH CREE NATION, SK, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada announced today an investment of almost $2.3 million as part of the year one funding through Canada's Economic Action Plan to improve housing conditions for the James Smith Cree Nation, Peter Chapman Band and Chakastaypasin Band communities.

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 (INAC), Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, made the announcement today.

"Our Government's Economic Action Plan is creating jobs, stimulating the local economy and improving housing conditions for First Nation communities in Saskatchewan," said Minister Finley.

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 INAC. This investment will also provide an economic stimulus for many First Nations and surrounding areas by creating jobs.

"The Government of Canada recognizes that quality housing is a fundamental building block for every First Nation family and community," said Minister Strahl. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government invested $400 million over two years dedicated to new and renovated social housing projects, which includes $60 million for First Nations in Saskatchewan."

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, some $60 million in federal investments will be made available to First Nations in Saskatchewan to address immediate housing needs.

CMHC will allocate almost $550,000 to retrofit 20 existing social housing units and more than $1.4 million in subsidy associated with the construction of eight new social housing units. In addition, INAC will contribute $386,000 for major renovations to 15 housing units. This funding will go a long way to help improve housing conditions in these First Nation communities.

On behalf of the combined 2800 band members, the three Chiefs wish to acknowledge the Canadian Economic Action Plan's initiative to stimulate the Canadian Economy by investing millions of dollars in First Nation communities. These investments in First Nation housing and infrastructure allow for an increased standard of living and the continued delivery of essential services to our ever-increasing populations. Furthermore, the members wish to acknowledge the hard work, cooperation, and organizational efforts of the Canadian Government, the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in the implementation of the CEAP funding.

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.

SOURCE CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC), PRAIRIES REGION

For further information: For further information: Media please contact: Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799; Megan Markin, CMHC Communications, Prairie Region, (403) 515-2962

Organization Profile

CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC), PRAIRIES REGION

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