Housing help, including rent assistance, counseling, mortgage help, and aid to prevent foreclosures, is available through multiple federal government programs including the Department of Defense National Relocation Program and the Homeowners Assistance Program. The HAP program has recently been expanded, and will now provide even more housing assistance to military members, veterans, and their immediate family members.
The Department of Defense National Relocation Program of course provides the standard Permanent Change of Station (PCS) entitlements relocation services. This PCS program includes a guaranteed home buyout process that is available to eligible DoD civilian employees so that these employees can sell their homes at their prior-duty station, and the program will help them locate and move into housing at the location that they are being transferred to.
Another important benefit is the Guaranteed Home Sale, which offers an alternative to the PCS reimbursement process. The Guaranteed Home Sale offers other services such as the Home Marketing Incentive Payment, which is a financial-incentive-bonus payment and also a grant that may be provided for employees who successfully try to market their homes.
The relocation program has aided tens of thousands of employees and their families with selling their homes. Most of this assistance has originated from the Guaranteed Home Sale Program. It has also helped many more families rent their homes through the Property Management Program. In addition, they provide help in the new town, and can aid people with purchasing or renting a home or apartment through Destination Services program.
Transferring military personnel and civilian employees received benefits for transferring from the traditional HAP program, however assistance was provided only when an economic impact study determined that the depreciation of the person’s home value is directly linked to the closure of a nearby military base or installation. In those cases, the Housing Assistance Program guaranteed all of or a large portion of the difference between the price a house sells for and what the estimated value of the house was prior to the base closure announcement. The new and expanded HAP program will assist even more.
An additional $555 million in government funding that comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus plan) to expand the HAP program will help offset the effects of the country's struggling housing market, provide foreclosure assistance, help with rent, and other support. The program will provide additional benefits to anyone selling their home, including funds for closing costs and the government will pay the difference between the selling price and the outstanding mortgage balance.
The HAP program eligibility has had its guidelines expanded to provide some financial benefits for BRAC-affected service members as well as civilian employees who sell their homes at prices that are less than their original purchase price of the home or less than the principal owed on the existing mortgage balance, and no economic impact study is required.
This expansion of the housing program which also includes paying the closing costs to civilian employees and transferring service members affected by BRAC 2005, was mainly possible through the efforts of the Army Family Action Plan.
Even if you have already sold your home, employees who are overall eligible for HAP benefits and who have already sold their homes have options available to them. Most of those individuals, even if they have already moved, can still receive HAP benefits.
In addition, military personnel, soldiers, or employees who are or will be moving due to BRAC can use the DNRP for the home sale at current market value. They can then later proceed to file for HAP benefits to provide any additional benefit or grants, such as loss-on-sale or negative equity payments, for which they may be entitled.
To learn more and the see how the Homeowners Assistance Program can benefit you, dial 800-861-8144 for information.
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