WIESBADEN, Germany -- Military homeowners are facing tough financial decisions in the current housing market. In the last year three Soldiers have approached U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Army Community Service financial counselors with questions about how to stay out of bankruptcy in association with their homes back in the United States.
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"They can't sell their homes. They can't rent their homes," said ACS financial counselor Mark Daybell referring to the depressed housing markets that some Soldiers have encountered during their permanent change of station moves.
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Earlier this year President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which expanded the Homeowner's Assistance Program to include partial reimbursement for home-sale losses for Soldiers who had permanent change of station moves from July 2006 through December 2009.
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Since 1966 HAP has assisted servicemembers and civilian employees whose home values dropped because of Base Realignment and Closure relocations. According to the HAP website - http://usace.army.mil - the Department of Defense and Office of Management and Budget guidance for the recovery and reinvestment act expansion is still being finalized. Once finalized the Corps of Engineers will begin processing the expanded program applications.
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But the eligibility dates for the expanded HAP PCS services shouldn't discourage servicemembers from seeking help, said Daybell. Soldiers and their families should visit the HAP website and fill out the applications to determine their eligibility.
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At local installations such as Wiesbaden, Daybell said financial counselors can also direct Soldiers to helpful housing crisis resources and programs including:
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Web sites

<a href="http://hap.usace.army.mil" target="_blank">http://hap.usace.army.mil</a>

<a href="http://www.militaryonesource.com" target="_blank">www.militaryonesource.com</a>
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<a href="http://www.myarmyonesource.com" target="_blank">www.myarmyonesource.com</a>
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<a href="http://www.militaryhomefront.com" target="_blank">www.militaryhomefront.com</a>
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<a href="https://onestop.army.mil" target="_blank">https://onestop.army.mil</a>
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<a href="http://www.ahrn.com" target="_blank">www.ahrn.com</a>
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<a href="http://www.jagcnet.army.mil" target="_blank">www.jagcnet.army.mil</a>
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Local and installation resources include:

- ACS financial counseling and spouse employment counseling;
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- Army Emergency Relief grants and loans for Soldiers who are renting off post;

- Housing Services Office's Preferred Tenant Program and the Automated Housing Referral Network;
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- Federal and state refinance programs such as the Making Home Affordable Program.
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For more information on housing market crisis assistance contact Mark Daybell at mil 335-5254 or visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil and click on the housing market crisis link on the Links page.

(IMCOM-Europe Public Affairs contributed to this story)

Page last updated Wed September 9th, 2009 at 04:14