The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced details for the temporary expansion of the Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The $555 million allocated to the HAP will be used to provide benefits to eligible military and DoD civilians who face financial losses selling their primary residence during the current housing downturn.
The DoD HAP has been providing financial assistance to military and DoD civilians for more than 40 years, and most recently, has been mainly used to provide benefits to personnel at base realignment and closure (BRAC) sites where government action caused a decrease in market home values. ARRA funding allows the DoD to temporarily expand this program in order to partially reimburse home sale losses in the following priority order:
Wounded service members relocating for treatment or medical retirement, and for the survivors of those who have died while on deployment.
Military and DoD civilians affected by the 2005 BRAC round, without the need (which existed under previous law) to prove that the base closure caused the local market decline.
Normal military permanent change of station (PCS) moves, on a temporary basis.
Last February, Congress authorized ARRA funding for a temporary expansion of the HAP in order to address unique economic pressures faced by military personnel. After conducting an extensive analysis to determine how best to prioritize the finite $555 million available while maximizing assistance to as many people as possible, the DoD developed specific eligibility criteria that includes PCS retroactivity from July, 1, 2006, through December, 31, 2009, and longer for wounded warriors/surviving spouses and personnel affected by BRAC.
Special eligibility criterion for this temporary program expansion is available on the HAP website at http://hap.usace.army.mil .
All active and former members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, as well as DoD civilians, who have sold a primary residence for a loss or are considering selling their home are encouraged to visit the HAP website in order to check specific program criteria, and if eligible, apply online.