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Provincial Government Continues to Support Northern Homeownership

BUFFALO NARROWS, Saskatchewan, August 30, 2007 — The Government of Saskatchewan announced today in Buffalo Narrows that the Remote Homeownership Program partnership with the federal government will be continued, creating additional homeownership opportunities for northern families. Since 1995, over 200 northern families have become homeowners through this successful program.

"Canada’s New Government is delivering on our commitment to create affordable homeownership options for all northern families — here in Saskatchewan and right across Canada,” said Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "We want to create a safer, stronger, better Canada for everyone and adequate housing is essential to that vision."

“Strengthening northern communities has long been identified as a key priority by our government,” Community Resources Minister Kevin Yates said. “We are committed to providing safe, reliable and improved programs and services to help build brighter futures for the North. We will continue to address northern housing needs to help build family independence and a stable environment.”

The Remote Homeownership Program provides forgivable equity loans of up to $50,000 to low to moderate-income families in the North who are willing to participate in the construction of their home. Applicants must have low to moderate incomes that fall within provincial income targets as established by Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (a maximum income level of $62,000, which were increased in 2006).

The program was initiated by the Province of Saskatchewan in 1995, and since its inception it has been embraced by northern residents for its many positive impacts. The Remote Homeownership Program has been credited with providing a vehicle for northern families to become more independent, for building community capacity, increasing housing stock to meet the demands of growing northern communities, as well as attracting financial investment and stimulating the development of northern housing markets.

With this track record, the Province of Saskatchewan’s Remote Homeownership Program attracted support from other levels of government, through the Centenary Affordable Housing Program (CAHP). Since 2002, the federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation committed approximately $1.6 million, while northern municipalities typically contributed land, to help the Province of Saskatchewan to continue to offer these homeownership opportunities in remote northern Saskatchewan communities.

With the announcement of continued provincial investment of $60 million in northern and inner-city housing made in February this year, the province will be able to continue to offer the Remote Homeownership Program in northern communities for at least the next three years.

For regional information contact:

Kim Jones
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Calgary
403-515-3048

Linda Saliken
Community Resources
Regina
306-787-0246