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Canada and Ontario Provide $1 Million for Repairs to Housing in Northern Ontario

TORONTO, Ontario, February 26, 2004 — The Frontiers Foundation has been allocated $1 million under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program to renovate housing for native families living in Northern Ontario, it was announced today.

The announcement was made by the Honourable Joe Comuzzi, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario), and David Ramsay, MPP Timiskaming - Cochrane, as part of $56 million allocated today to communities across Ontario.

The $1 million allocation, which is the second part of a $2 million 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.

"This $1 million dollar investment is part of the Government of Canada's on-going commitment to address the housing needs of native families living in Northern Ontario," said Minister Comuzzi. "We are proud to continue to work with Frontiers Foundation in order to achieve tangible results to those who need it most."

"Frontiers Foundation has gained an excellent reputation during the past 20 years for improving housing in Northern Ontario," said Mr. Ramsay. "By strengthening the communities in which we live, we are providing our people with a quality of life that is second to none."

Some $16 million has been set aside for affordable housing projects in areas north of the French River and Nipissing District under the Affordable Housing Program.

The allocation is part of a five-year commitment to create affordable housing in Ontario. This partnership combines Government of Canada funding of $245 million, together with matching contributions from the Government of Ontario, municipalities and other private and non-profit partners.

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 is pleased to acknowledge the continuing commitment to more safe warm homes for off-Reserve aboriginal northern Ontarians, certified now by Ministers David Caplan and John Gerretsen. Phases 1 and 2 are already underway and we look forward to Phases 3, 4, 5 of the five year plan," said Marco A. Guzman, Executive Director of Frontiers Foundation.

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 households in Northern Ontario with their home improvements by combining volunteer labor and sweat equity with government investment and private-sector donations.

For further information please contact:

Mary Johnson
Office of Minister of State Scott
(613) 952-1684

Ross Parry
Office of Minister Caplan
(416) 325-1657

Marco A. Guzman
Frontiers Foundation
(416) 690-3930

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