Fund Continues to Build Momentum

Niagara Falls, July 14, 2016 — John Beaucage, the Chair of the First Nations Market Housing Fund (the Fund), announced today that Northern Savings Credit Union in British Columbia has joined the Fund as a participating lender. In addition, Teslin Tlingit Council in the Yukon and the Tsartlip First Nation in British Columbia have become First Nations partners approved for the Fund’s Credit Enhancement facility and Capacity Development program.

Mr. Beaucage welcomed the addition of another financial institution to serve First Nations through home loans in northern British Columbia noting “competitive terms and conditions help create a level playing field for First Nation borrowers and bring First Nation families one step closer to realizing the dream of home ownership.”

“Northern Savings is pleased to carry out our vision of ‘neighbours helping neighbours to build sustainable communities’ through our partnership with the First Nations Market Housing Fund. We look forward to assisting First Nation borrowers in communities we serve in fulfilling their vision to own, build or renovate a home,” said Jackie Rumney, Senior Manager, Retail & Wholesale Lending.

To date, 211 First Nations have chosen to work with the Fund and the Fund has now approved credit for more than 5,750 loans representing a potential investment of more than $862 M in First Nations communities across Canada.

Carl Sidney, Nha Shade Heni of the Teslin Tlingit Council, stated “Teslin Tlingit Council continues to improve community development and provide opportunities for its citizens. Through partnership and cooperation with the First Nations Market Housing Fund, TTC encourages and supports home ownership for citizens. Together we are building a healthy, safe and self-sufficient community.”

Chief Don Tom of Tsartlip noted “It's an exciting time working with First Nations Market Housing Fund and very important to have more housing options for our community.”

The First Nations Market Housing Fund

The Fund is an innovative initiative established by the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC), to give First Nation citizens greater access to home loans in First Nations communities. The Fund is a registered not-for-profit trust that was born out of what has become known as the Kelowna Accord. The Fund became operational in May 2008.

The federal government made a one-time investment of $300 million in the Fund. This investment, held in trust, has the potential to leverage $3 billion in investments in homes on reserve and on settlement lands and lands set aside for First Nations across Canada.

It is completely voluntary for First Nations to make use of the market-based fund. The Fund recognizes the uniqueness of First Nation communities and works with them on their own timelines to provide them with the choice and flexibility they need to provide viable housing options.

The Fund helps First Nation 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 Nation 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:

Northern Savings Credit Union joins a growing list of financial institutions across Canada which have chosen to finance loans backed by the Fund, including BMO; Peace Hills Trust; First Nations Bank of Canada; Vancouver City Savings, Affinity and Valley First Credit Unions; Envision Financial; Desjardins Group; 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.

Media Contacts:

First Nations Market Housing Fund
Deborah Taylor
Executive Director
613-740-9931

Northern Savings Credit Union
Jackie Rumney
Senior Manager, Retail Lending & Operations
250-627-3680

Tsartlip First Nation
Karen Harry
Administrator
250-652-3988

Teslin Tlingit Council
Jade McGinty
Communications Coordinator
867-390-2532 ext. 306

Backgrounder

A Snapshot of the First Nations Market Housing Fund’s latest Partners

Northern Savings Credit Union

Community-based, member-owned, and democratically governed, Northern Savings is proud to have been part of the credit union system since 1940. From its very modest beginnings as a savings and loan cooperative, Northern Savings has built itself into one of the largest credit unions in Northern BC, with assets over $900 million. Personal and commercial banking, insurance, and wealth management services are provided by dedicated professionals who provide top-notch service and trusted advice in Masset, Prince Rupert, Queen Charlotte and Terrace.

Teslin Tlingit Council

The Inland Tlingit community of Teslin is a self governing Nation located on the shores of Teslin Lake in southern Yukon, 180 kilometres east of Whitehorse. The village was once a summer gathering site and resting place among the Coastal Tlingit travelling inland during seasonal trapping, hunting, and harvesting. They brought with them their clan system, potlatch tradition, language, songs and dances, which remain strong. The traditional territory of the Teslin Tlingit spans parts of the Yukon and British Columbia. A permanent settlement was formed in Teslin in the 1940’s during the building of the Alaska Highway. When the movement for a Land Claims settlement began in 1973, Teslin Tlingit were active participants in the negotiating process, and in 1993, became one of the ‘first four’ First Nations to successfully conclude agreements.

The self governing Nation has title of 2,395.74 square kilometres of Settlement Lands with law making powers on behalf of over 800 citizens, 300 of which live in the village of Teslin, and 300 in Whitehorse. The governing body provides leadership of the Nation, and meets annually with its citizens in General Assembly. A traditional clan system Council recognizes five clan leaders, or spokespersons, chosen by their respective clans, while the Chief is appointed by Elders and the General Assembly.

The Teslin Tlingit Council is actively involved in the implementation process, attempting to build new ways of becoming self sufficient in a contemporary world while continuing to prosper in the traditional ways, retaining the language, culture and laws for future generations.

The Nation’s Capital and Infrastructure Department manages 40 rental units in Teslin and encourages its citizens to accept the responsibility of home ownership through program incentives for affordable housing, upgrades and the building of new homes. The First Nations Market Housing Fund is a welcomed opportunity in the community for expansion of privately owned homes or market rental housing, in response to a growing demand for housing.

Tsartlip First Nation

A signatory to the Douglas Treaty of 1850, Tsartlip First Nation is one of four Saanich tribes situated on the Saanich Peninsula of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. (Saanich Nations include Pauquachin, Tsawout and Tseycum). Meaning “land of maples” in the SENC'OTEN language, the Nation’s main community is South Saanich Indian Reserve 1, located near the town of Brentwood Bay. The membership total of Tsartlip is 982, with the majority of 684 citizens living on reserve.

The Nation has been recognized for its improved housing policy practices over the years with collections, enforcement, community education, and client counselling efforts provided to Tsartlip members in support of meeting their housing obligations. There are 188 houses in the community including rental, rent-to-own, and more than half of privately owned builds. Tsartlip remains committed to seeking alternative financing that benefits membership housing, and is considering the expansion of market housing projects that might include new construction, rental units, and an Elders/safe home on its communal lands in partnership with the Fund.

In addition to the Band office, community facilities offer employment on the Nation’s territory including the health centre, school, school board, and the offices of the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language, and Culture Council. Tsartlip operates a boat launch, and in 2014, opened a gas station and convenience store.