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Hearing Of The Subcommittee On Economic Opportunity Of The House Committee On Veterans' Affairs


Location: Washington, DC

In the 110th Congress, this subcommittee held a series of hearings focused on the VA's home loan program, including the specially adapted housing programs. Since then, we have been able to work in a bipartisan manner to: increase the maximum home loan guaranty amount, expand expiring adjustable rate mortgage programs, provide foreclosure prevention remedies for servicemembers and veterans, enhance specially adapted housing benefits, and require the VA to update the guidance it provides to veterans on the design and construction of specially adapted housing.

In keeping with our commitment to meet the current needs of veterans, today's hearing seeks to review housing benefits that were first provided when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Servicemember's Readjustment Act of 1944. For over 65 years, VA's home loan program has been an important benefit that has allowed thousands of veterans the opportunity to own a home.

While the overall VA-backed home loan program has proven to be successful, today we have the opportunity to address several issues of concern. Some of these concerns, such as increasing the maximum loan guarantee or expanding the adjustable rate mortgage program, were addressed in the 110th Congress and we hope to determine today if additional changes are warranted.

Also, we will hear about veterans who were attracted by non-VA backed home loans who have joined the thousands of Americans struggling to make housing payments during difficult economic times. Fortunately, a growing number of veterans continue to take full advantage of the flexible program to refinance into a VA loan, allowing them to access the unique protections available through the VA to help ensure they remain home owners. I look forward to hearing from all our panelists as we continue to improve the VA's home loan benefits.

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