According to National Military Family Association (NMFA), August 12, 2008:
In late July, President Bush signed “The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008”, H.R. 3221, into law (Public Law 110-289). This legislation is designed to help homeowners keep their existing homes and provide first-time buyers access to affordable housing.
Military families should know that there are several provisions within H.R. 3221 that uniquely impact service members and veterans.
The law will:
Exclude military housing allowances from counting as income when service members try to qualify for low-income housing;
Expand the foreclosure protection for service members returning from deployment. Previously, service members had 90 days of protection from foreclosure, now they have nine months. This temporary protection expires on December 31, 2010;
Provide a temporary increase until the end of the year for the maximum loan guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The cap can be as high as $720,750 and as low as $417,000 depending on the median housing prices for the area;
Require the Secretary of Defense to develop a program to provide financial counseling to returning service members, including credit and home mortgage counseling;
Provide a moving benefit to service members who are forced to move out of rental housing if the owner of the housing is foreclosed on;
Increase grants for severally disabled veterans from $50,000 to $60,000;
Make totally disabled service members held on active duty for medical reasons eligible for VA grants for home alternations before their discharge;
Extend grants for specially adapted housing and assistance to veterans with severe burns and veterans residing outside the United States; and
Allow veteran benefits received as a lump sum to be treated as monthly benefits for the purposes of eligibility for Section 8 Housing assistance.
We are especially pleased members of Congress recognize the problems military renters face when their landlords go into foreclosure. NMFA will monitor the implementation of this legislation and provide updates as they become available.
To review the full law, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/ and type HR 3221 into the search field.
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