Bands Signing Up For First Nations Housing Fund

Thursday, February 05, 2009 at 12:51



The First Nations Market Housing Fund has officially signed up its first client.


A reserve from Newfoundland is the first community to be deemed eligible for the program’s generous housing loans.


This will give members of the band greater access to financing so they can either own their own homes or begin renovations.


A total of $300 million has been set aside for the program by the federal government.


The chair of the fund, AFN regional chief John Beaucage, says bands must meet certain financial benchmarks to access the money.


He also says bands in co-management likely won’t qualify.


Beaucage notes the program is designed to get 25,000 homes constructed over 10 years, and he believes about 25 per cent of bands across the country should qualify.


He also says it’s worth noting that the fund respects the communal holding of land, as well.


So far, two banks in Alberta and B.C. have signed on to act as lenders.


Beaucage says seven other First Nations are in the process of being approved, but is unsure if any are in Saskatchewan.