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Canada’s Economic Action Plan Helps to Improve On-Reserve Social Housing in B.C.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 15, 2009 — The Government of Canada announced today a $5.3 million investment, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, for the Musqueam First Nation to build 31 social housing units to improve living conditions for the Musqueam community.

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia – Pacific Gateway and British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), participated in the official ground-breaking ceremony along with members of the Musqueam community to celebrate the first on-reserve funding commitment to be announced. This new development will provide on-reserve housing for young families, seniors and persons with disabilities in the Musqueam community.

“Our Government recognizes that on-reserve housing must be improved,” said Minister Day. “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Musqueam First Nation will be able to help its community create new opportunities and alleviate some of the pressing housing needs of the residents who live here.”

Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides $400 million over the next two years, to help First Nation communities build needed new housing and repair and remediate existing non-profit housing for their members. It will also provide an economic stimulus for many First Nations and surrounding areas by creating jobs.

“This new and exciting housing project comes at a time when both the Musqueam leadership and Musqueam members have identified our housing needs as the number one priority in our community. Through this project, our people, long on housing waiting lists, will have an opportunity to raise their families in safe and healthy homes.” said Chief Ernest Campbell of Musqueam First Nation. “We believe this opportunity will be an important step in building a happy and healthy community.”

More information on this and other measures in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, a plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Visit CMHC’s website at: www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan or by phone at 1-800-668-2642, for more information about this and other housing-related measures in Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

For more information please contact:

Michelle Bakos
Office of the Honourable Diane Finley
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Tel.: 819-994-2482

Kristen Scheel
CMHC Media Relations
Tel.: 613-748-2799

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Minister responsible for British Colombia
Tel.: 613-992-6186

Johnna Sparrow
Musqueam First Nation
Tel.: 778-898-1226

Backgrounder

Investment to Improve On-Reserve Social Housing

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting First Nations through targeted investments to build and renovate housing. Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of commitments by the federal government to improve housing conditions in First Nations communities.

In 2007, the Government invested $300 million in the First Nations Market Housing Fund, which encourages market-based housing on-reserve and could create 25,000 new housing units over the next decade.

These commitments are in addition to the federal government’s annual investment, through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), of approximately $270 million for on-reserve housing needs, and INAC’s investment of approximately $118 million annually for First Nations on-reserve in the form of shelter allowance payments under the Income Assistance Program.

In Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada provides $400 million over the next two years to support on-reserve housing. Of the $400 million committed, $250 million will be delivered through CMHC over two years for the creation of new on-reserve housing ($125 million) and repair and renovation of existing federally-assisted on-reserve social housing ($125 million). The remaining $150 million will be delivered by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) for lot servicing, renovations, new construction of high-density multi-unit dwellings, and renovations to support the conversion of band-owned housing to private ownership.

The federal government, through CMHC and INAC, is working with First Nations to move forward with this important initiative.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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