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January 16, 2009
For immediate release

Prince Edward Island, Government of Canada and Local Aboriginal Organizations Partner to Build New Off-Reserve Housing

Social Services and Seniors

New affordable housing will be constructed in Charlottetown later this year for low-income Aboriginal seniors, first-time Aboriginal homeowners and First Nations people who require temporary transitional housing.

The investment is made possible through the Off-Reserve Affordable Housing Trust, a one-time federal grant of $704,500. The Department of Social Services and Seniors conducted a needs analysis to identify funding priorities, with input from Aboriginal organizations.

Today, the Minister of Social Services and Seniors announced the Native Council of Prince Edward Island and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. have been selected as funding recipients for their proposed projects.

“Both groups proposed very different - and very creative - ways that we can address the housing shortage faced by Aboriginal individuals and families in our province,” said Minister Doug Currie. “With the partnership of the federal government and cooperation with our First Nations partners, we will build homes that will have a tremendous impact on the Aboriginal community in our province.”

“The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing available in Prince Edward Island and across Canada for those who need it most,” said Minister Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “Through this investment, we are making an important difference in the lives of low-income Aboriginal seniors, first-time Aboriginal homeowners and First Nations people in Charlottetown who are working towards building a stronger and better future for themselves.”

As part of the project, the Native Council will build an eight-unit complex in the Charlottetown area where low-income Aboriginal seniors will be able to live independently.

The Native Council will also provide short-term, transitional housing to individuals and families who need temporary housing. The council will construct three duplexes, close to public transportation, services and job opportunities, where families and individuals can live in a safe, supportive environment while they transition to more permanent housing.

The Mi’kmaq Confederacy has also been granted $100,000 to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help Aboriginal families become homeowners for the first time. Through the construction of new homes, First Nations volunteers will also learn valuable trade skills that may assist them in their own career aspirations.

Construction on the transitional housing is scheduled to be complete this spring, while the seniors complex is expected to be built by the summer.

For more information on the project, contact Stefanie Arduini, Prince Edward Island Department of Social Services and Seniors, 902) 620-3409,, or Giselle Thibault, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (902) 426-8320,

Media Contact: Stefanie Arduini
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