By July 24, 2009
I am writing to request a correction be made to the (ARNEWS brief) titled, "Help available for military hit by housing market," included in the May 2009 issue.
"Some military families are finding themselves in a precarious situation when it comes to selling their house and relocating, said housing experts... The government will cover 95 percent of the amount lost when servicemembers are forced to sell due to permanent change of station moves. The provision does have some limitations. The program only applies to servicemembers who purchased their homes before July 1, 2006, which is roughly the time when the housing market started to decline."(ARNEWS/Carol E. Davis)
There is a sentence that may be misleading. The sentence, "The government will cover 95 percent of the amount lost when servicemembers are forced to sell due to permanent change of station moves," leaves room for error and a false hope of 95 percent recovery in all cases. The statement should not have specifics like 95 percent, as the amount of entitlement can vary based on a number of factors.
The Army Corps of Engineers Web page, established to provide information and process applications for the Homeowner's Assistance Program, is located at http://hap.usace.army.mil.
Suzanne M. Harrison
Acting assistant for Housing and Energy
Office of the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for
Installations and Housing
From the editor: The author of the story printed in the ARNEWS section of May's issue of Soldiers was correct when she wrote that under current guidelines, the government would cover 95 percent of the amount servicemembers lose when selling their homes as a result of a PCS move. However, clarification was needed. The government can cover up to 95 percent of the amount under current guidelines, but as Suzanne M. Harrison stated, that percentage is determined based on a number of factors. Once the Department of Defense has approved updated Homeowners Assistance Program guidance, the Army News Service will publish a follow-up article highlighting any changes at www.army.mil/ARNEWS.