E. Davis, Army News Service
D.C. ó Some military families are finding themselves in a
precarious situation when it comes to selling their house and
relocating, said housing experts.
bought their homes at the height of the market and now, because of
permanent-change-of-station orders, are trying to sell in todayís
lower market, said Edmond Hackett, housing management specialist, Fort
good news is that the new economic stimulus package has provisions to
help military homeowners, and Army Emergency Relief is also helping
those hit by the crunch.
a reality in this area and all over, there are a lot of foreclosures
and this is affecting our Soldiers too," said Hackett. "Many
sellers can now expect to sell below their purchase price."
flip side of this housing market is that renters are not immune to the
effects of foreclosure either.
the past couple of months, approximately five Army Families have had
to deal with losing the homes they were renting when the owners faced
foreclosures," said Shawn Walters, housing management specialist,
Fort Belvoir. "One good thing for these families is that now the
government will move them, thatís a big change from the past and is
a real help to the families."
attachment to the Joint Federal Travel Regulations added about five
months ago authorizes a local or short-distance move of household
goods for servicemembers forced to relocate because the home they were
renting is in foreclosure.
there are no specific programs to help Soldiers when they are behind
in their mortgage, Army Emergency Relief is an avenue for assistance
in this tough market, said Dennis Scott, assistant secretary of
the housing market crashed, we are looking at housing
differently," said Scott. "Multiple-home ownership used to
be considered a business venture and AER doesnít assist in that, but
now we realize it might be because of an inability to sell in one
applying for assistance at AER, it must be a solution to the problem
not a partial fix said Scott.
you need to catch up on your mortgage and once caught up you can
continue to pay because of a new job or a raise that would be a
solution. If you have a buyer and need to pay back-payments prior to
selling that would be a solution.
would be good examples of how AER could help," said Scott.
2005, AER provided a total of $44 million in assistance; but in 2008,
they provided a total of $82.9 million in no-interest loans. The
increase is mostly due to the economy, said Scott.
unique situation of the Soldier has not been overlooked by the
president and Congress. The new economic stimulus package has included
provisions to address servicemembers facing losses in the housing
market. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was passed
by Congress Feb. 13 and signed into law Feb. 17 by President Obama.
the new provision, the government will cover 95 percent of the amount
lost when forced to sell. The provision now applies to servicemembers
who PCS more than 50 miles outside their current installation and need
to sell their homes.
stimulus package extends the Defense Departmentís Homeowners
Assistance Program (HAP) by $555 million.
was originally designed to assist Soldiers who face a financial loss
when selling a home located in an area where real estate values have
declined due to an installation closure or realignment.
provision does have some limitations. The program only applies to
servicemembers who purchased their homes before July 1, 2006 which is
roughly the time when the housing market started to decline.
housing services, AER and Congress have provided some relief and
assistance, experts offer caution before entering into any housing
attention to leases, work with reputable Realtors and have the Staff
Judge Advocate Office look over all contracts before you sign,"
more housing information in the Fort McCoy community, contact the Fort
McCoy Directorate of Public Works Family Housing office, building