Earned Housing Benefit (Continued)

then had his offer rejected because the financing was through VA and the property was a site condo. The seller ended up accepting a lower offer because the financing was a conventional mortgage product and there were less rules, regulations and hoops to go through.”

“This past year, I served a veteran who had been pre-approved for a maximum loan amount of $175,000.00. Because of the housing shortage in the state of Michigan, homes available in that price range were coming up site condos. This veteran made a few full price offers but none of them had been accepted.”

“From my perspective as a lender and veteran the VA’s stance on site condos has been and still is negatively impacting veterans from securing these types of homes. Nothing is said directly to us or the veteran, but the fact stands that veterans using VA financing will either have to offer more on a home to make it worth the seller’s time, have a significant delay in completing the financing, or veterans are not getting the homes because of VA’s view of site condos.”

But even with this evidence, your association’s pleas were falling on deaf ears.

Congressman Bergman’s Intercession Expedites VA Change

Fortunately, Michigan has a Member of Congress that serves on the Veteran Affairs Committee. That person is Congressman Jack Bergman who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District (northern lower-Michigan and the U. P.). HBA Michigan’s CEO Bob Filka reached out to the Congressman and he put his committee staff to work. “Without a doubt this change would not have happened so quickly without the intercession of Congressman Bergman,” noted Filka in announcing the VA policy change. He concluded: “This issue is about fairness and equity. Veterans have made enormous sacrifices in service to our country and our freedom. They have earned the right to use their veterans’ benefits to pursue the dream of home ownership. For veterans to be denied the access to a tool that, for many, is the only way to make that dream a reality here in Michigan was a travesty—a travesty that has now been corrected. Michigan’s 600,000 plus veterans now have full access to their earned benefits…thanks, really, to our members… whose membership supports the advocacy work of their state and national associations.”