Difference Makers – First Nation Market Housing Fund Welcomes New Partners

The First Nations Market Housing Fund footprint continues to grow with the addition of six new partnership agreements with First Nations communities. 230 First Nations have now chosen to work with the Fund.

“These First Nations’ commitment to market-based housing will bring their citizens one step closer to the dream of home ownership,” stated John Beaucage, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Fund. “These partnerships between our First Nation organization and First Nations governments are difference makers. They will lead to more homeownership and more vibrant and prosperous communities.”

The Fund enables First Nations to guarantee financing for a new home, to renovate and modernize an existing home, or create other market-based housing solutions for citizens on reserve and on settlement lands.  Credit has been approved for close to $925 million in 108 First Nations communities that could see some 6,300 home loans.

Here’s what the leaders of the six newest Fund partners have to say:

“Working with the Fund is more than increasing housing options in the community, it is also about strengthening the financial stability, independence and pride in home ownership on an individual and collective basis. We look forward to working with the Fund to achieve our community’s vision.”– Chief Richard Shecapio, Cree Nation of Mistissini

“Financing has been a problem, and we are very pleased to finally be partnering with the First Nations Market Housing Fund, so that our Members have greater access to mortgage funds.  The individual assistance from the Fund, through finance workshops and on-on-one credit counselling, is expected to allow those that don’t presently, qualify for loans.” – Chief Lester Anaquot, Saugeen First Nation

“We are pleased that our members now have more options for home ownership and home improvement in our community through the First Nations Market Housing Fund.  Our governance in the area of housing will improve through new and upgraded housing policy and procedures with the goal to make it easier for community members to access housing purchases and housing upgrades. This also creates an opportunity for the existence of a housing market where members can more easily buy and sell houses within the community.  We look forward to capacity development initiatives that will benefit our staff and community as a whole. We welcome this new housing initiative to Wahta Mohawks.”  – Chief Philip Franks ​

“The vision of Mattagami First Nation as a healthy, vibrant community is very much in line with the goals of the Fund.  This new partnership enables our Nation to continue growing our governing capacity as a self-sufficient community, and develop the tools needed to assist more of our members in achieving their individual potential as homeowners in our community.” – Chief Chad Boissoneau

 “Chapleau Cree First Nation embraces the notion of building community homes and infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing community. Our children deserve a healthy environment, and that begins with a good home. Future development will bring growth and innovative fair market housing for new home owners. Chapleau Cree intends on building and maintaining homes for the approaching seasons. This is based on our vision and values of investing in the community and sustaining management of our treaty land settlement.” – Chief Keith Corston

“Nuxalk hired a champion to manage the affairs related to housing and the Nation’s assets.  This endeavour is supported by Chief and Council.  The reality of an experienced housing person will benefit the Nation, providing that internal politics has no interference with growth of the Nation.  This opportunity provides options to utilize the resources available to benefit the Nation, and sustain the community and build capacity to support the economy.  Working with the First Nations Market Housing Fund will benefit the Nation’s growth as we move forward into the future.” – Chief Wally Webber

The First Nations Market Housing Fund

The Fund is a registered not-for-profit trust established by the Government of Canada, which was born out of what has become known as the Kelowna Accord. First Nations communities continue to lag behind the rest of Canada in health and most social and economic determinants — including housing. The latest figures from Statistics Canada, in 2011, show that 31 percent of on-reserve units were privately owned compared with approximately 69 percent of non-indigenous Canadians.

The Fund helps First Nations families overcome the barriers to home ownership and close the housing gap. The federal government’s one-time investment of $300 million in the Fund has the potential to leverage $3 billion of investments in homes on reserve and on settlement lands and lands set aside for First Nations across Canada.

The Fund helps First Nations communities by:

  • Providing a 10% backstop for housing loans guaranteed by the First Nation;
  • Providing financial leverage to negotiate with lenders for the best possible loan terms and conditions;
  • Strengthening First Nations communities and supporting increased self-sufficiency by providing financial literacy and financial management tools, enhancing the governance framework, and developing capacity with education, information, and innovative services.

The Fund works with financial institutions committed to providing a high level of service to First Nation governments:

The Fund’s growing list of both national and regional financial institutions across Canada which have chosen to finance loans backed by the Fund, includes BMO; CIBC; Peace Hills Trust; First Nations Bank of Canada; Vancouver City Savings, Affinity and Valley First Credit Unions; Envision Financial; Desjardins Group; Northern Savings Credit Union; and six Caisse populaires in Ontario located in Hearst, Kapaskasing, Verner, Alban, Noëlville and Sturgeon Falls.

For more information, please visit the Fund’s website at www.fnmhf.ca.

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