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Canada and Ontario Provide $2 Million for Native Housing in Northern Ontario

TORONTO, Ontario, May 1, 2003 - The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario today announced the allocation of $2 million during the next two years to the Frontiers Foundation to renovate housing for native families living in Northern Ontario.

The Honourable Steven Mahoney, Secretary of State (selected crown corporations), and Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing David Young announced this first allocation under the remote housing component of the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program.

The allocation will enable Frontiers Foundation, a national non-profit organization, to provide native households with contributions of up to $25,000 per unit on average to finance major renovations, rehabilitation or replacement of their homes.

"More affordable housing for low-income native people in rural and remote communities will be created," said Minister Mahoney. "I am pleased to see progress being made under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Agreement, which is part of our overall commitment to creating more affordable housing in Ontario."

"The Ontario government has been providing financial assistance for more than two decades to Frontiers Foundation, which has an outstanding record for improving native housing in Northern Ontario," said Minister Young. "There is no doubt the foundation will make good use of this latest allocation of $2 million, and the results will make a huge difference to the lives of many native families by ensuring their homes are safe and secure."

A total of $17 million has been set aside for affordable housing projects in areas north of the French River and Nipissing District under this joint program.

In total, the Affordable Housing Program will provide $489.42 million over the next five years to help increase the supply of affordable housing in the province. Government of Canada funding of $244.71 million, together with matching contributions from the Government of Ontario, municipalities and other private and non-profit partners, will help create an estimated 10,500 affordable housing units in Ontario.

In the north, funding will be used to rehabilitate, renovate or replace substandard ownership housing. Funds may also be available for smaller projects to create new rental units, convert non-rental units to rental units or rehabilitate rental units. As well, new home purchases by tenants currently living in remote areas may qualify for assistance.

"Frontiers Foundation welcomes with profound gratitude this flagship commitment to new and improved native housing in Northern Ontario," said Rev. Charles Catto, Founding Director of Frontiers Foundation. "We hope this will be a signal to all other provinces and territories to join the federally, provincially and municipally supported march toward affordable housing now for all Canadians."

Frontiers Foundation is Canada's largest and longest-serving aboriginal community advancement and volunteer service organization. The Foundation has 20 years experience helping low-income native households in Northern Ontario with their home improvements by combining volunteer labour and sweat equity with government investment and private-sector donations.

For further information please contact:

Luc Fournier
Office of Minister Mahoney
(613) 990-1707

Colin Longhurst
Office of Minister Hardeman
(416) 585-6758

Rev. Charles Catto
Frontiers Foundation
(416) 690-3930

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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