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Membertou First Nation building 32 new homes with federal funding

Membertou First Nation is getting 32 new modular homes through the federal Rapid Housing Initiative. (Shane Wilkie - image credit)
Membertou First Nation is getting 32 new modular homes through the federal Rapid Housing Initiative. (Shane Wilkie - image credit)

The Membertou First Nation is getting 32 new homes, thanks for $8.25 million in funding from the federal Rapid Housing Initiative.

Sydney-Victoria MP Jaime Battiste and Membertou Chief Terry Paul announced the funding on Wednesday at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre.

Just short of 200 families are on a waitlist for housing in Membertou, Paul said.

The new housing will "put a big dent in that," he said.

"It's people that finally will get their, what they call their forever homes. And that certainly will help a lot."

Membertou Chief and CEO Terry Paul
Membertou Chief and CEO Terry Paul

Terry Paul is chief and CEO of Membertou First Nation. (Holly Conners/CBC)

Some of the 32 modular homes will be erected on existing lots throughout the community. Others will go in a new subdivision in an area of Membertou known locally as the Jefferson property.

Membertou is contributing $1.12 million toward the project, with $665,000 coming from Indigenous Services Canada.

The $8.25 million comes through the third round of funding from the Rapid Housing Initiative. That money is delivered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, under the National Housing Strategy.

Sydney-Victoria MP Jaime Battiste and Membertou Cheif Terry Paul.
Sydney-Victoria MP Jaime Battiste and Membertou Cheif Terry Paul.

Sydney-Victoria MP Jaime Battiste and Membertou Cheif Terry Paul made the announcement on Wednesday. (Christine Phalen)

Membertou is the last of Cape Breton's five Mi'kmaw communities to secure funding through the intitaitive.

"That's one pot of money, the Rapid Housing Initiative, but the Housing Accelerator Fund is something else," said Battiste, suggesting that more funding for housing will be forthcoming "not just in Indigenous communities, but in Cape Breton communities."

Some of Membertou's 32 new homes are already under construction. The goal is to have them all move-in ready by this summer.

In a separate initiative, Membertou is also working on the construction of 12 new duplexes for the community, said Paul.

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