The 2009 American Economic Recovery Act, also commonly referred to as the economic stimulus package, contains an assistance package to help US military who lost money on their home during a PCS move. The current economic crisis has affected housing prices around the nation, and the government wants to assist military members who were required to make a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) due to military needs.
Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program
The Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and is only open to military members who were permanently reassigned because of a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) during the mortgage crisis. The following information is from the website:
The Department of Defense (DOD) is proud to offer the Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) to eligible service members and federal civilian, including non-appropriated fund, employees. The program is authorized by law, and administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to assist eligible homeowners who face financial loss when selling their primary residence homes in areas where real estate values have declined because of a base closure or realignment announcement.
There are two main eligibility criteria:
- There has to be an announcement of a base closing or realignment action which affects your community.
- A determination must be made that real estate values have dropped as a direct result of the base closing or realignment announcement.
Once those criteria are met, there are additional requirements.
Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program eligibility requirements:
Update: The Homeowners Assistance Program has recently been modified to include wounded service members, surviving spouses of military members who die while deployed, and certain other military service members who are required to move more than 50 miles because they receive permanent change-of-station orders.
Homeowners Assistance Program eligibility requirements:
- PCS orders require relocation of more than 50 miles.
- Reassignment ordered between 1 February 2006 and 30 September 2012 (or earlier date designated by Secretary of Defense).
- Property purchased or contract to purchase signed before 1 July 2006.
- Property sold by owner between 1 July 2006 and 30 September 2012 (or earlier date designated by Secretary of Defense).
- Property was the owner’s primary residence.
- Owner has not previously received these benefit payments.
Other eligible personnel:
- Personnel transferred or terminated within six months prior to the announcement who were owner-occupants at the time of transfer.
- Civilian and military personnel on overseas tours who transferred within three years prior to the announcement and who are homeowners in the area.
How to file a Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program claim
If you are a military member who is PCSing or has PCSed during the window of eligibility, you will need to download the application packet and complete the application, DD Form 1607, Application for Homeowners Assistance Program. The basic application is made on Part III. You will need to get your personnel officer to complete Section IV.
Supporting documents. You will also need to include verification of home ownership, the dates you lived in the home, a copy of your PCS orders, the efforts you made to sell your home and whether or not it sold, and the details of your mortgage.
You must submit your completed application by mail to the US Army Corps of Engineers district rwhere your home is located. For more information about the district lines, visit the USACE contact page.
The Homeowners Assistance Program has not been finalized
Details for the Homeowners Assistance Program are not yet written into law and the requirements are still being negotiated by Congress. Here is the message from the HAP website:
DoD policy guidance cannot be displayed until after the interim draft rule is published in the Federal Register. The dates for publishing in the Federal Register and initiating applicant processing are not known. They will be highlighted on this web site when the information becomes available.
For more information, visit the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program home page, or the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program FAQ page.