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Province dishing out $40 million for Indigenous off-reserve housing

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark unveils new program at Sault Ste. Marie Indian Friendship Centre Friday
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The provincial government unveiled its new $40 million Rural and Indigenous Housing Program at the Sault Ste. Marie Indian Friendship Centre Friday. Left to right: Elder Shirley Roach, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Support Services Secretary Treasurer Tim Pile and Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano. James Hopkin/SooToday

The provincial government unveiled its new $40 million program to expand off-reserve housing to urban centres across the province during an announcement at the Sault Ste. Marie Indian Friendship Centre Friday. 

The Rural and Urban Indigenous Housing Program - which replaces the Rural and Native Housing Program - will receive $8 million annually over the next five years in order to create and maintain more than 1,500 units, and provide housing allowances and support services.  

“I am so proud that while working with my partners we have negotiated a new agreement that will better meet the needs of more Indigenous people and their families,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark during Friday's announcement. “I’m pleased to announce that our government is renewing our commitment to work with Ontario Aboriginal Housing Support Services.”

Ontario Aboriginal Housing Support Services (OAHS) will work with the province in order to roll out the program over the five years. 

Tim Pile, secretary-treasurer for Ontario Aboriginal Housing Support Services in Sault Ste. Marie, told SooToday that the money announced Friday will go towards rent subsidies, repairs and work on homes, and ultimately help people get into homes.