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Northern Ontario Communities Get $4 Million for Affordable Housing

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ontario, May 11, 2007 — Canada’s New Government and the government of Ontario today announced an allocation of $4 million to renovate housing for low-income households in Northern Ontario, including aboriginal families living off-reserve, under the Canada – Ontario Affordable Housing Program. Frontiers Foundation Inc. and ManTech Services are the successful proponents for the delivery of the program.

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and the Honourable John Gerretsen, Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, made the announcement at the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities Annual Conference.

“Canada’s New Government is committed to supporting housing for low-income families, including aboriginal families living off-reserve,” said Minister Clement. “Through our investment of $2 million, we are making an important difference in the lives of families in Northern Ontario who are working towards building a safer, stronger and better future for themselves.”

“The McGuinty government believes that every Ontario family should have a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home,” said Minister Gerretsen. “Today’s initiative is another step toward making a real difference in the lives of working families and Ontario’s most vulnerable households in the north.”

Frontiers Foundation Inc., a national non-profit organization, will be delivering over $2.62 million to eligible clients to finance major repairs and renovations for 131 homes in Northern Ontario. In addition, ManTech Services, one of northern Ontario’s largest grant-administration companies, will be delivering over $1.38 million to eligible clients for the repair and renovations of 69 Northern Ontario homes.

Under the Northern component of the Canada – Ontario Affordable Housing Program, funding is used to rehabilitate, renovate or replace substandard housing which will help to preserve affordable housing for low-income families in Northern Ontario. Funds may also be available to encourage affordable rental housing development where appropriate.

“This new agreement will strengthen the work of our Aboriginal voluntary service and community advancement agency in smaller communities north of the Nipissing region, as well as in the Thunder Bay and Kenora – Rainy River areas,” said Marco A. Guzman, Executive Director of Frontiers Foundation Inc. “We invite local volunteers to join our Operation Beaver program to address homelessness in their communities and give a helping hand to those in need.”

Frontiers Foundation is Canada’s largest and longest-serving aboriginal community advancement and volunteer service organization. The Foundation has 30 years of experience in helping low-income households in Northern Ontario with their home improvements by combining volunteer labour and sweat equity with government investment and private-sector donations.

“We are delighted to see that governments have recognized the need for programs such as this,” said Gerry Strong, Executive Director of ManTech Services. “The funds allocated by the federal and provincial governments will go a long way in improving housing standards for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

ManTech Services has been involved in the administration of grant funding for low-income households since 1988. The company provides assistance to low-income households to secure funding for home repairs.

The new Canada – Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement comprises a commitment of $301 million from each of the two senior levels of government. In total, the federal, provincial and municipal governments will invest at least $734 million in the program, which will provide affordable housing for 20,000 households in Ontario.

Media contacts:

Lesley Harmer
Office of the Honourable
Monte Solberg
Minister of Human Resources
and Social Development

Patti Munce
Office of Minister Gerretsen

Kathie Howes
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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