Services focus on rental support, home repairs, and down payment help
Article by Dale Ladouceur
Métis citizens now have more access to housing programs.
Last year, Audrey Poitras, the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) president, signed a10-year, $500 million Métis Nation Housing Accord. This accord will allow Métis Nation governments to design and deliver housing services to their citizens.
The MNA’s housing branch, Métis Capital Housing Corporation, has designed four new programs to support families and students in need of rental support, home repairs, and down payment assistance.
Métis Nation of Alberta citizens can apply for:
Down Payment Assistance Program: provides up to 5 per cent of a down payment to a maximum amount of $20,000 per approved applicant.
Home Repair Program: provides a maximum of $20,000 per approved applicant.
Rental Supplement Program: pays up to $5,400 per year, for a maximum of 24 months. Métis Capital Housing Corporation will also pay an applicant’s security deposit to a maximum of $850 per application.
Rental Supplement Program for Students: pays up to $2,400 per year, per approved applicant. Métis Capital Housing Corporation will also pay an applicant’s security deposit to a maximum of $850 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 [also] with food and other necessities.”
Fayant adds: “Being a homeowner myself and being in the same place for 17 years, things start to go. So that extra money would definitely assist a lot of our Métis home owners out there in achieving a safer, more secure home.”
Corrine Card, director of Métis Capital Housing’s Strategic Initiatives, is tasked with leading the design and details of these exciting new programs. 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. Since the announcement, there’s been a steady influx of phone calls and applications.
“Oh my goodness, there has been so much interest,” enthuses Card. “Lots of questions, lots of excitement. We are hoping these programs can help many Métis citizens.”
But if these programs aren’t working for citizens, Card urges people to share their challenges.
“We are always looking for feedback on what our citizen’s 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.”If you have questions on these or any other programs Métis Housing offers, visit metishousing.ca, which provides more details on programs or services. Or call toll-free: 1.877.458.8684.
Featured Image: Four new housing programs will help Métis citizens with a variety of needs. | Supplied