Home Repair Program for GTA off-reserve Aboriginal people

TORONTO, Dec. 18 /CNW/ - A new one million dollar Home Repair Program was announced today by the Miziwe Biik Development Corporation (MBDC) in Toronto. The Aboriginal Home Repair Program will assist Aboriginal people living off-reserve in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to undertake much needed home repairs, modifications or upgrades that they cannot afford. The GTA is home to over 75,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.

The program will provide interest-free loans to low and moderate-income Aboriginal homeowners to assist them with mandatory repairs to bring their home's condition to an acceptable level of health and safety, modifications to improve accessibility, and energy-efficiency improvements and upgrades.

The GTA Aboriginal Housing Program delivers two other programs. The Aboriginal Rental Program will facilitate the development of affordable rental housing by Aboriginal service providers. The Downpayment Loan Program offers interest-free loans to enable Aboriginal people to improve their socio-economic status by becoming homeowners. Details of all programs are available on the MBDC website at www.mbdc.ca.

The Home Repair Program will be delivered through the GTA Aboriginal Housing Program and is part of the Off-Reserve Housing Trust transferred by the Federal Government to the Ontario Government. The Trust was intended to address the critical housing conditions experienced by Aboriginal people.

Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Jim Watson and Nancy Martin, President of MBDC have signed an Administration Agreement under which MBDC is administering the $20 million housing fund allocated to the GTA. The signing followed an extensive community consultation led by Aboriginal organizations about the housing needs of GTA Aboriginal people and the impact of inadequate housing on all aspects of their lives.

"We are excited that this Program will assist more than 50 families to upgrade their living conditions," said Nancy Martin.

"This partnership between our government and Aboriginal communities continues to make great progress, to assist off-reserve Aboriginal families in need," said Minister Watson.

In keeping with traditional Aboriginal values to plan seven generations ahead, some loans are partially repayable in order to establish a Revolving Loan Fund.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
    

Miziwe Biik Development Corporation (MBDC) was established in 2004 by Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training. The mission of MBDC is to serve as a vehicle to facilitate the economic advancement and self-sufficiency of the Aboriginal community in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). To this end, MBDC engages in activities that focus on access to business development and training, business loans/grants, home ownership, affordable housing and other initiatives.

    
    Aboriginal Home Repair Program Highlights

    -   Eligibility - First Nations citizens (status and non-status), Métis
        and Inuit living off-reserve in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA);
    -   Applicants must own the home to be repaired as a principal residence
        within the GTA i.e. City of Toronto or Regional Municipalities of
        Peel, York, Durham or York;
    -   Home must be over 5-years old, requiring repairs or modifications or
        upgrades;
    -   Assessed value of home must be at or below the average resale price
        of a home in the specific GTA area, as per Canada Mortgage and
        Housing Corporation (CMHC) quarterly report;
    -   Program duration: December 14th 2009 to December 31, 2011 on a first-
        come, first-served basis.

    To be eligible for the AHRP-GTA, a household must have income that is not
higher than the following:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Household* size                               Maximum household income
                                             (before taxes, from all sources)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Single or couple(xx)                                             $36,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two(xxx) or three people                                         $42,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Four or five people                                              $50,500
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Six or seven people                                              $61,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Eight or more people                                             $75,800
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    * "Household" refers to the owner and spouse/common-law partner
        (including same-sex spouse or partner), plus dependants, whether
        adults or children.
    (xx) "Couple" refers to two people who are married spouses or common-law
        partners, including same-sex spouses/partners.
    (xxx) "Two people" refers to two individuals who are not married or
        common-law partners, including same-sex spouses or partners, i.e. not
        couples.
    

To find out more about the Aboriginal Home Repair Program or to get an application contact:

    
    Karl Wieler
    Program Officer, GTA Aboriginal Housing Program
    Miziwe Biik Development Corporation
    416.640.4684
    Email: kwieler@mbdc.ca
    

SOURCE MIZIWE BIIK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (MBDC)

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Mitra Maharaj, Program Director, GTA Aboriginal Housing Program, Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, Tel: (416) 640-4683, E-mail: housinginfo@mbdc.ca; Web site: www.mbdc.ca; To find out more about the Aboriginal Home Repair Program or to get an application contact: Karl Wieler, Program Officer, GTA Aboriginal Housing Program, Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, (416) 640-4684, Email: kwieler@mbdc.ca

Organization Profile

MIZIWE BIIK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (MBDC)

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