Miawpukek First Nation

Miawpukek First Nation has the distinction of being the very first First Nation to apply to work with the Fund after we opened our doors in 2008, as well as being the first community to be approved for both a loan program and capacity development. Mi’sel Joe, Chief of this Mi’kmaq community, travelled to Ottawa to celebrate these milestones in 2009, determined that he would ensure he had the right policies in place to make it a lasting success.

‘Miawpukek First Nation is pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Market Housing Program to secure an alternative avenue of funding for individuals and families looking to renovate, build or purchase homes on reserve. The market housing program has alleviated fiscal strain on our internal housing program. In partnership, we are working to build a stronger community where families can have access to safe and affordable housing,’ said Mi’sel Joe recently.

Notoria Hinks and Jarrod Tibbo are the proud owners of a bungalow, built in the new subdivision where there are lots of children to play with their 5-year-old son, Mckenzie and his soon-to-be-born sibling. Perched on a hill, they can see the entire community as well as the spectacularly beautiful Conne River from their custom-built windows.

Living between St. John’s and Miawpukek for the last few years has been a struggle, says Notoria, a health care worker in the community. She was happy to come home to the community she was born and raised in and jumped at the chance to build a home.

Notoria and Jarrod were able to sell their home in St. John’s and use the equity as a down payment on their forever home in Miawpukek. While the construction is being completed, the family has been living with Notoria’s parents in the community.

The young homeowners were able to take advantage of programs offered in Miawpukek to help with the construction including carpentry, electrical and plumbing. These services give local construction professionals the chance to keep their skills sharp while reducing costs for the homeowners who may be building new, renovating, or simply maintaining their homes. Labour contributed by Jarrod who works in construction, also helped reduce the costs on this bungalow.

Notoria is very proud of the colour scheme they chose for the home noting she had a vision which her husband trusted. Other features that reflect their personal choices and lifestyle include a corner walk-in pantry, as well as walk-in closets. The finished basement boasts a kitchenette for when family comes to stay.

Notoria said it was challenging building during the pandemic; materials were hard to find and when you did find them, they took a long time to get onto the island.

Grateful for the support provided by her Government, Notoria cited Les Benoit and Fernando Jeddore as having helped them understand the loan process with a checklist so that the borrowers were well-prepared before they went to the bank. Notoria and Jarrod would highly recommend the market housing program to others interested in owning their own home.

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