OAHS Announces Over $20.4 Million in Funding

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) is pleased to announce $20.4 million in funding to deliver 144 units under the First Nation, Inuit, Métis Urban & Rural Housing (FIMUR) Rental Component Program.

The goal of the FIMUR Program is to help address housing needs for Aboriginal people in Ontario living off-reserve, designed and delivered based on community engagement processes. Don McBain, Executive Director of OAHS comments, "This announcement provides great opportunity for the eight experienced urban Aboriginal housing providers to reduce current waiting lists for applicants over the long term while stimulating the economy in their respective communities through new construction and building rehabilitation."

Proponent submissions were evaluated by an independent Proposal Review Committee who reported their recommendations to the OAHS Board of Directors for final review and approval. The Board has approved the following proposals:

    -   Neech-ke-When Homes Inc., Sault Ste. Marie      16 units  $2,160,000
    -   Oonuhseh Niagara Native Homes Inc.,
        St. Catharines                                   8 units  $1,360,000
    -   Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services Inc.,
        London                                          12 units  $1,406,900
    -   Native Inter-Tribal Housing Co-operative Inc.,
        London                                          29 units  $3,480,000
    -   Hotinohsioni Incorporated, Brantford            27 units  $3,970,440
    -   Gignul Non Profit Housing Corporation, Ottawa   28 units  $4,752,958
    -   Can-Am Urban Native Non-Profit Homes Inc.,
        Windsor                                         12 units  $1,500,425
    -   Tungasuvvingat Inuit, Ottawa                    12 units  $1,780,000

About the FIMUR Housing Program

The FIMUR Housing Program has two (2) components:

    The Rental Housing component (approximately $51M for approximately 360
    units) is a one-time capital program that includes new construction,
    acquisition of existing vacant residential or non-residential buildings
    for repair or conversion to affordable rental housing, and new
    supportive and transitional housing.

    The Homeownership Assistance component (approximately $6M for
    approximately 200 households) is a forgivable loan which provides down-
    payment assistance to families, who are currently renting, and would
    like to purchase a home or homeowners who are no longer entitled to
    reside in their residence. The loans are interest free and forgivable
    after five years if the homeowner remains in the home.

Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) has been allocated $60M for outside of the GTA.

Funding is 100% capital and flowed from a federally funded Off-Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust, of which Ontario received $80M.

About Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS)

OAHS is a Corporation without share capital that is mandated to:

    -  provide housing and repair programs with a specific focus on the
       Aboriginal community, to be delivered cost-effectively;
    -  provide central policy/program administration and develop training
       for Aboriginal Housing provider groups;
    -  undertake responsibility for matters related to socially assisted,
       culturally appropriate off-reserve housing; and
    -  utilize the talent, skills and experience of the Aboriginal community
       to the greatest extent possible in the allocation, delivery,
       construction and long term management of programs.

The OAHS Board is comprised of representatives appointed by Métis Nation of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, and Ontario Native Women's Association.

"Providing safe affordable housing is our mandate. Creating homes is our goal."

For more information on OAHS or the FIMUR Program, including both Homeownership and Rental Components, please visit us online at http://www.OntarioAboriginalHousing.ca, call 1-866-391-1061, or write to:

                     Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
                 Attn: FIMUR Assisted Homeownership Program
                          500 Bay Street, Suite 200
                         Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 1X5

"Supported by the Province of Ontario"


For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Don McBain, Executive Director, Tel: (705) 256-1876 ext 202, E-mail: dmcbain@oahssc.ca; Program Contact: Justin Marchand, Programs Delivery Manager, Tel: (705) 256-1876 ext 213, E-mail: jmarchand@oahssc.ca

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