By Dale Ladouceur
(ANNews) – Last year Métis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras, on behalf of Métis Nation of Alberta Citizens, signed a 10-year, $500 million Métis Nation Housing Accord. The signing of this Accord will allow for Métis Nation Governments from Ontario, west to design and deliver housing services to their Citizens.
Because of this signing, the MNA’s housing branch, Métis Capital Housing Corporation, has designed four new programs to support Métis families and students in need of rental supports, home repairs as well as a down payment assistance program.
As of October 15th Métis, Nation of Alberta Citizens can apply for:
Down Payment Assistance Program, providing up to 5% down payment to a maximum amount of $20,000.00 per approved applicant.
Home Repair Program, providing a maximum of $20,000.00 per approved applicant.
Rental Supplement Program, paying up to $5400.00 per year, for a maximum of 24 months. MCHC will also pay applicants security deposit to a maximum of $850.00 per application.
Rental Supplement Program for Students, paying up to $2400.00 per year, per approved applicant. MCHC will also pay applicants security deposit to a maximum of $850.00 per application.
“These are very significant programs for a lot of our families out there,” enthuses Denise Fayant, Director of Housing for Calgary and southern Alberta.
“First of all, both of the Rental Supplement Programs will be a big stress release with helping our Métis students and citizens get extra support so they can maintain their current housing situation. A lot of our students and families are struggling with not only finding a place to live but with food and other necessities.”
“Being a homeowner myself,” Fayant continues, “and being in the same place for 17 years, things start to go.
“That extra money will definitely assist a lot of our Métis homeowners out there in achieving a safer more secure home.”
The person tasked with leading the design and details of these exciting new programs is the Director of Métis Capital Housing’s newest department; Strategic Initiatives. Corrine Card has years of experience working in the housing industry and has spearheaded many pivotal housing projects and programs.
Launching four major housing programs simultaneously, however, is not for the faint of heart. There can be difficult adjustments and unforeseen challenges in the first few weeks when launching any initiative, let alone four. I spoke with Corrine Card in mid October.
Q: How have things progressed since the announcement of the four new housing initiatives?
There is much to do yet. I am getting lots of calls and many questions from people that heard the launch announcement.
Q: We know these programs are designed to respond to the housing needs of Métis families and students, how much interest has there been so far?
Oh my goodness, there has been so much interest; lots of questions, lots of excitement. We are hoping these programs can help many Métis citizens.
Q: What is the most important message you want to get out to those interested in applying for one of these new housing programs?
If these programs are not working for you, share your challenges with us. We are always looking for feedback on what our citizens needs are. Share what those needs are because if you don’t, they may go unaddressed. The reality is we can’t help everyone but we are going to continue to try; with these programs and future programming.
Q: Will there be other programs launched from Strategic Initiatives in the future?
Yes, absolutely. We are always looking for ideas for programming and I have other programming that I’m interested in researching further.
Regarding need, as new information becomes available to us, this will help us develop future programming to address that need.
If you have questions on these or any other programs Métis Housing offers, please check our new website at www.metishousing.ca which provides more details on programs & services. You can also call toll free: 1-877-458-8684.