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DoD Expanded Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP)

Military families have been seriously impacted by the recent housing market changes due to government orders requiring them to relocate. Trying to sell their current home has been made extremely difficult and most sale prices are well below the purchase price. The Department of Defense and Congress have addressed the problem through the Expanded Homeowners Assistance Program which now includes two new categories of eligible military members.

MilitaryAvenue participated in a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable with Mr. Joseph Sikes, Director for Housing and Competitive Sourcing in the office of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment on Friday, October 12th. Mr Sikes very kindly took his time to respond to questions and provide information on the new program so we can help keep the military community informed. He commented that while many personnel such as policemen, firefighters, etc protect us only the military is required to relocate.

The original HAP was designed to assist military families during BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) situations with large numbers of military families selling their homes at the same time in one location closed by government action. The Expanded HAP includes two new groups: Wounded, Injured, Ill/Surviving Spouses and PCS Members.

The program has been funded with $555 Milllion and has 4,000 current applications and the PCS portion is probably underfunded and will run out by December 2009. DoD is seeking additional funding to continue that portion of the program which has the largest share of applications.

So what should you know about the program? As with any housing sale there are many complexities and the program has seen an increase in manning to help speed your application process and answer your question. Right now the application process time length is about 60-90 days but the funding availability is also based on loan information/bank response, etc. What does it cover? Your mortgage and even an equity line/junior mortgage (if used for home improvement) that can be included in the original purchase price. The original purchase price is the baseline and of course documentation is required. For more details you can read this article, Officials Announce Homeowner Assistance Program Details which includes several helpful links to the application process, frequently asked questions, eligibility rules, etc.

Mr Sikes did mention one item I found a critical piece of information for the decision process for your sale. The program provides a better rate of return if you sell your own home through a private sale than it does for a government purchase. You can find specific details from the program office when applying but if the government purchases your home it will pay 75% of the purchase price. If you sell your own home the government will help match 90% of the purchase price.

A big shout out to DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable, Lt Cragg of the New Media Directorate of OSD Public Affairs and Mr Sikes for providing the discourse about this wonderful assistance to military families! Thank you.




Click Play to listen to the conversation and questions.


**Photo credit James Spellman, Jr at Army News.

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