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DoD releases criteria for housing bailouts

By Cpl. Pete Zrioka | | October 15, 2009

The Department of Defense released eligibility criteria Sept. 30, 2009, for the expansion of a program to reimburse its service members and civilian employees who have been forced to relocate and sell their homes at a loss in the current poor economy.

Expanded in February 2009 using $555 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Homeowner’s Assistance Program now helps prevent applicants from significant financial hardship, but doesn’t promise to compensate for 100 percent of their losses.

Those potentially eligible include former and active duty service members, DoD civilian employees and surviving spouses of service members and civilian employees.

The funding from the ARRA allows the extension of the HAP to partially compensate, in an order of importance, those who suffered losses from the sale of a primary residence.

Former and active duty service members, wounded or ill in the line of duty while deployed since 9/11 and relocating for further medical treatment are the first considered applicants.

Secondly, surviving spouses of service members and civilian DoD employees moving within two years of the death of their spouses are eligible.

Service members and civilian employees affected by the 2005 base realignment and closure round are the third considered.

Finally, service members who received orders dated from Feb. 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2009, for a permanent change of station are the last eligible for funds extending the HAP.

Reporting date on the orders must be no later than Feb. 28, 2010, and to a duty station outside a 50-mile radius of the former duty station. Based on availability of funds, the dates may be extended to Sept. 30, 2012.

According to the station housing office’s 2008 housing market analysis, more than 500 permanent personnel own homes in the Yuma area.

The HAP has been reimbursing service members since 1966, in conjunction with BRAC sites, where personnel were forced to move and sell their homes at a loss due to a decrease in the housing market caused by the base closure.

For more information on the HAP, more specific eligibility guidelines, or to apply for reimbursement, visit http://hap.usace.army.mil.

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