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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
September 1, 2009
Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) is pleased to announce the launch of the First Nation, Inuit, Métis Urban & Rural Housing (FIMUR) Assisted Homeownership Program.
The goal of the FIMUR Assisted Homeownership Program is to help address housing needs for Aboriginal people in Ontario living off-reserve, designed and delivered based on community engagement processes, to move from rental to homeownership.
The program will provide funding through forgivable loans for the purpose of purchasing primary residences for a limited number of eligible self-identifying Aboriginal individuals and families with low- to moderate-income. Eligible homes can be in off-reserve urban communities and rural locations across Ontario excluding the Greater Toronto Areas. The value of a home cannot exceed the average market value in the respective area.
Official Signing of FIMUR Housing Program (April 16, 2009)
Seated left to right: Sylvia Maracle (Chair OAHS, ED OFIFC); Dawn Harvard (Director OAHS, President ONWA), Jim Watson (Minister Municipal Affairs and Housing), Doug Wilson (Director OAHS, CAO MNO).
Standing left to right: Brad Duguid (Minister of Aboriginal Affairs), Donna Cansfield (Minister Natural Resources), Michael Gravelle (Minister Northern Development and Mines), and Don McBain (Executive Director OAHS).
Applicants will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis, against the mandatory criteria. Priority will be given to those who are currently residing in social housing, and families escaping situations of violence.
For complete details, including information on the Off-Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust (OAHT) engagement process, Program Guidelines which contain application forms, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) please go to http://www.OntarioAboriginalHousing.ca call 1-866-391-1061, or write to:
Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
Attn: FIMUR Assisted Homeownership Program
500 Bay Street, Suite 200
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 1X5
About the FIMUR Housing Program
The provincial Off-Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust (OAHT) engagement process was led in partnership by the Ontario Federation Indian Friendship Centre (OFIFC), Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) from April to August 2008 across the province, with the exception of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Subsequent to the provincial OAHT engagement process, the OFIFC, MNO and ONWA prepared the Ontario Off-Reserve Aboriginal Housing Trust (OAHT) Report which identified the specific housing needs, priorities and issues of Aboriginal people living off-reserve in Ontario as identified in the engagement process, and provided Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) with policy recommendations on the design, which included a Homeownership forgivable loan component in the amount of $6 million.
About Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS)
OAHS is a Corporation without share capital that is mandated to:
• provide housing and repair programs with a specific focus on the Aboriginal community, to be delivered cost-effectively;
• provide central policy/program administration and develop training for Aboriginal Housing provider groups;
• undertake responsibility for matters related to socially assisted, culturally appropriate off-reserve housing; and
• utilize the talent, skills and experience of the Aboriginal community to the greatest extent possible in the allocation, delivery, construction and long term management of programs.
The OAHS Board is comprised of representatives appointed by Métis Nation of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, and Ontario Native Women’s Association.
For more information on OAHS, please go to: http://www.OntarioAboriginalHousing.ca
“Supported by the Province of Ontario”
Media Contact: Don McBain, Executive Director
Tel: (705) 256-1876 ext 202
Program Contact: Justin Marchand, New Programs Delivery Manager
Tel: (705) 256-1876 ext 213
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