INAC Clarifies Eligibility For New Housing Program

Monday, April 23, 2007 at 14:44



It appears not everyone will qualify for the federal government’s latest on-reserve housing initiative.


Last week, Indian Affairs announced the creation of a $300-million housing fund.


The money will be used to guarantee loans between band members, First Nations and banks.


Department spokesman Marc Brooks says only certain bands that meet the right financial criteria can participate in the new project — First Nations he calls “investment-ready”.


Brooks notes bands that are in third-party management won’t qualify.


He estimates only about 30 per cent of First Nations will meet the financial benchmarks necessary to participate in the plan.


However, he insists the department is doing its best on this file.


Brooks also stresses that Indian Affairs does not consider housing a treaty right — even though he realizes most First Nations believe it is.


Indian Affairs believes the program will create 25,000 new homes over the next 10 years.