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FAIRFORD, MB, April 24 – First Nations families living on reserve will now benefit from a new affordable 34 unit subdivision located 240km northwest of Winnipeg. Chief Garnet Woodhouse was joined by MP James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk Interlake, and the community to celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the brand new homes to families in need of housing in Pinaymootang First Nation. “The Government of Canada is committed to creating affordable housing for Aboriginal people in Manitoba and across the country,” said MP Bezan, “As a result of these projects, low-income First Nations families living on reserve, will have access to safe, quality housing at an affordable cost, helping them to start a new page in their lives.”
The new subdivision was made possible thanks in part to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) funding and equity from Pinaymootang First Nation. Funding of more than $3 million for the projects was provided under the National Housing Act On-Reserve Non-Profit Housing Program. An additional $600,000 was provided through the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada infrastructure funds.
Construction of the homes began in mid-July 2007, under contract with Taiga Projects and involving local First Nations’ sub-contractors. Approximately 70 local people were employed to work on the project, with construction taking only 10 months. Both the 24 and 10 unit single family dwellings were built simultaneously, featuring three and four bedroom units.
“The completion of this project brings much needed housing to our First Nation so some of our members can return to the community and others can remove themselves from overcrowded or unsafe accommodations, “says Chief Garnet Woodhouse.
Chief Woodhouse also acknowledges that a project of this magnitude could not have been successful without the help of many people including CMHC, INAC, Interlake Reserves Tribal Council, BDO Dunwoody, Taiga Projects, Springhill Lumber, local trades-people, and our Housing Program Staff and Council.
The homes were completed and occupied April 1, 2008. Prior to occupancy, a competition to name the new road was held at the local Pinaymootang School. The Chief and Council finally selected ‘Pinay Road’ as the winner of the competition. The winning class was awarded a monetary prize from the Council as well as a contribution from CMHC.
CMHC’s On-Reserve Non-Profit Housing Program assists First Nations in the construction, purchase and rehabilitation, and administration of quality housing for Aboriginal people living on-reserve.The Government of Canada provides approximately $272 million in on-reserve funding each year to support some 25,000 households.
CMHC is Canada’s national housing agency with a mandate to help Canadians gain access to safe, quality, and affordable housing. CMHC supports the Canadian housing industry and improves the living conditions of Canadians through mortgage loan insurance and securitization, assisted housing, research and information transfer, and the promotion of Canadian housing exports.
For further information: Florence Woodhouse, Pinaymootang First Nation, (204) 659-5705; Kimberlee Jones, CMHC, (403) 515-3048
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