Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

Veterans Hit by Disaster Get Relief

Congress has passed legislation that will provide relief for veterans who have experienced a natural disaster. Under current law, a veteran whose home has been destroyed by a natural disaster such as wildfires or hurricanes, is subject to a repeat purchase fee when they use a VA home loan to purchase a replacement home. The bill, H.R. 7105, the "Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020" removes this penalty.

The legislation clarifies that any veteran who has lost their home to disaster is eligible for the same "initial loan" rates, and not the repeat purchase fees. In November, NAR sent a letter to Senator Hirono (D-HA), who was championing that provision.

In addition, the bill expands access to the VA home loan program to to full-time National Guard and Reserve members deployed domestically. These military members are often called up to serve during natural disasters, and today have been deployed to help with COVID-related emergencies. Previously, many of these National Guard and Reserve members were ineligible for VA home loans unless they served overseas.

The bill now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it.

NAR's Letter to Senator Hirono