WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba Metis Federation announced Thursday a historic program for Metis homeowners to make critical repairs to their homes.

The MMF Home Enhancement Loan Program will provide $1.5 million for Metis people who are low to moderate income homeowners.

"This initiative will join the First Time Home Purchase Program, affordable housing projects, and the development of a Metis-specific strategy to address homelessness in our families and communities," said Will Goodon, MMF Minister of Housing and Property Management, in a statement.

The program will launch in May and will help extend the lifespan of hundreds of homes in the province. Homeowners who qualify could receive a forgivable loan of up to $15,000. The gross total income for an applicant cannot exceed $85,000. Additionally, the total assets of the applicant can be up to $300,000.

"The Home Enhancement Loan Program will be the latest initiative from your Metis Government as we strive to provide our Citizens with the ‘head start’ promised in 1870," Goodon said.

MMF said the program will bridge the gap the province left behind when all the emergency repair and renovation programs were discontinued.