Home ownership program for GTA off-reserve Aboriginal people

    TORONTO, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - A new program was announced today by the Miziwe
Biik Development Corporation (MBDC) in Toronto. A five (5) million dollar
Downpayment Loan Program will assist Aboriginal people living off-reserve in
the Greater Toronto Area to purchase their own homes. The GTA is home to over
75,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.
    This 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 ease the
critical housing shortage experienced by urban Aboriginal people.
    The details of two other programs are being finalized by MBDC and will be
released in the coming weeks.
    Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Jim Watson and Nancy
Martin, President of MBDC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and an
Administration Agreement under which MBDC is administering the $20 million
housing fund allocated to the GTA. The signings followed an extensive
community consultation led by Aboriginal organizations about the affordable
housing needs of GTA Aboriginal people.
    The Downpayment Loan Program is meant to ease the demand for rental
housing and provide Aboriginal people with the opportunity to improve their
socio-economic status through home ownership. The size of the loan is
dependent on household size. "We are excited that this Program will assist
over 150 families to purchase their own homes," said Nancy Martin. MBDC is
holding Information Seminars for interested applicants.
    In keeping with traditional Aboriginal values to plan seven generations
ahead, the loans are completely repayable in order to establish a Revolving
Loan Fund to provide home ownership assistance in perpetuity. Loans are
repayable when the borrower sells their home.
    At the MOU signing, Minister Watson said, "Our government and Aboriginal
communities, working in partnership, are launching a remarkable housing
program to help off-reserve families in the GTA."


    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

    Aboriginal Downpayment Loan Program Highlights

    -  Eligibility - First Nations citizens (status and non-status), Metis
       and Inuit living off-reserve in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA); must
       be currently renting;
    -  Applicants cannot currently own an existing home, or have interest in
       a home or land off-reserve; applicants must use the home they purchase
       as their primary residence;
    -  Applicants must be pre-approved for mortgage;
    -  Service area: GTA which includes the City of Toronto and Regional
       Municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel and York
    -  Loans based on household size:
         -  One person - $15,000
         -  Two persons - $20,000
         -  Three persons - $25,000
         -  Four or more persons - $30,000
    -  Program duration: August 24th 2009 to December 31, 2011 on a first-
       come, first-served basis
    -  Maximum allowable household income - $77,900.
    -  Homes must be purchased off-reserve in the GTA; maximum home purchase
         -  City of Toronto - $384,422
         -  Durham - $265,443
         -  Halton - $370,004
         -  Peel - $329,942
         -  York - $408,403
    -  Downpayment loans are completely repayable and a Revolving Loan Fund
       will be established.

    To get an application or to find out about a Downpayment Loan Program
Seminar in your area, contact:

    Kenn Ross
    Miziwe Biik Development Corporation

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Barb Nahwegahbow, GTA Aboriginal
Housing Program, Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, Tel: (416) 640-4688,
E-mail: housinginfo@mbdc.ca, Web site: www.mbdc.ca

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