Canada's Economic Action Plan creates jobs and improves housing on reserves
in Quebec

INNU FIRST NATION, MASHTEUIATSH, QC, Jan. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada announced today an investment of more than $4.5 million as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to improve housing conditions for Mashteuiatsh and the Innu Nation.

The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec), 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 Marjolaine Étienne, Vice-Chief for external affairs of the Montagnais Council of Lac-Saint-Jean and councillor responsible for the economy, public works and housing.

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

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 year one (2009/2010) 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 (2010/2011) application call is about to 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 $45 million in federal investments will be made available to First Nations in Quebec to address immediate housing needs.

Under the initiative, CMHC is investing more than $4.5 million to retrofit 268 social housing units in nine communities and help build nine new units in three Innu communities in Quebec. The communities receiving funding are as follows: Pessamit, Ekuanitshit, Essipit, Mashteuiatsh, Matimekush, Natashquan, Pakua Shipi, Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam and Unamen Shipu.

"In Mashteuiatsh, the funding initiative has helped to meet the most immediate needs, through the performance of different renovations to 83 housing units, some 15 of which had major work carried out on them. We hope to be able to continue improving our homes with initiatives of this type over the coming months and years, as we are concerned about the preservation and development of our overall housing stock," said Vice-Chief Étienne.

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.

Funding Breakdown - Innu Nation

    
    Pessamit                             Unamen Shipu
    Total CEAP Contribution: $638,540    Total CEAP Contribution: $386,000
    Retrofit: $638,540 (39 units)        Retrofit: $386,000 (23 units)

    Ekuanitshit                          Natashquan
    Total CEAP Contribution: $306,059    Total CEAP Contribution: $206,200
    Retrofit: $151,000 (9 units)         Retrofit: $206,200 (19 units)
    New Construction: $155,059 (1 unit)
                                         Pakua Shipi
    Essipit                              Total CEAP Contribution: $134,000
    Total CEAP Contribution: $46,000     Retrofit: $134,000 (11 units)
    Retrofit: $46,000 (3 units)
                                         Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam
    Mashteuiatsh                         Total CEAP Contribution: $1,659,900
    Total CEAP Contribution: $600,000    Retrofit: $890,000 (63 units)
    Retrofit: $600,000 (83 units)        New Construction: $769,900 (7 units)

                                         Matimekush
                                         Total CEAP Contribution: $603,400
                                         Retrofit: $384,000 (18 units)
                                         New Construction: $219,400 (1 unit)
    

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media please contact: Michelle Bakos, Office of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, (819) 994-2482; Julie Cohen, Communications, CMHC, Quebec Region, (514) 283-3679; Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799; Karen Robertson, Consultant, Communications and Public Relations, Conseil des Montagnais du Lac-Saint-Jean, (418) 275-5386, ext. 442


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