Come May 1, home-owning Métis with low or moderate income will be able to access a $1.5 million dollar fund to carry out critical repairs to their homes.
"The Home Enhancement Loan Program will be the latest initiative from your Métis government as we strive to provide our citizens with the head start promised in 1870," stated Manitoba Metis Federation minister of housing and property management Will Goodon.
"This initiative will join the First Time Home Purchase Program, affordable housing projects, and the development of a Métis-specific strategy to address homelessness in our families and communities."
The head start Goodon refers to is a reference the federation made in early 2019 when it launched the home purchase program. The federation noted that a promise was made to Métis in the 1870 Manitoba Act, thay they would receive "a portion of such ungranted lands, to the extent of one million four hundred thousand acres."
The federation said that program would assist approximately 400 Métis families in 2019.
As for the home-repair program, the intent is to increase the lifespan of hundreds of homes across the province.
"It will fill the gap left behind when Manitoba discontinued all emergency repair and renovation programs that supported low to moderate income homeowners," according to the release.
Under program, which is a forgivable loan of up to $15,000, eligible repairs include accessibility improvements, black mold removal, and emergency repairs to roofs.
"The criteria for admission include having a total gross annual income not in excess of $85,000 and the applicant’s total assets must not exceed $300,000," according to the release.
"The loan is forgiven after five years if the terms and conditions of a forgivable loan agreement are met."
The federation is prioritizing safety and well-being, with a preference for Métis who demonstrate immediate emergency or health and safety-related housing needs.
» Michele LeTourneau covers Indigenous matters for The Brandon Sun under the Local Journalism Initiative, a federally funded program that supports the creation of original civic journalism.
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