OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced the Government of Canada is prepared to invest in new multi-unit housing for residents of Attawapiskat First Nation.
The Government is offering up to $2.2 million for multi-unit, sustainable housing proposed by the First Nation in its housing strategy, which was submitted to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) recently. The funding is offered on the condition that the Attawapiskat First Nation develop and implement a maintenance plan and rental regime for these new units.
"Our Government recognizes that long-term solutions to address the housing needs in Attawapiskat are required, and we are committed to making this investment subject to specific conditions, so that community members can access safe, warm housing," said Minister Valcourt. "It is our hope that the community's leadership will consider this offer and work with us to develop housing solutions for the people in the community."
The Department also remains committed to supporting the First Nation as it works to improve its financial and management oversight issues. This should better place the First Nation to qualify for Ministerial Loan Guarantees (MLG) for housing. Currently, Attawapiskat is deemed too high a financial risk to qualify for a MLG.
Since 2011-2012, AANDC has provided over $5 million in funding to Attawapiskat First Nation to address housing issues.
"Our government remains focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security," added Minister Valcourt.
Attawapiskat First Nation is located on James Bay approximately 220 kilometres north of Moosonee, Ontario, and has an on-reserve population of approximately 1,945 people.
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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