Veterans’ home loan program now permanent

Sue Guinn Legg • Apr 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Homeownership for the Brave, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s 2-year-old home loan assistance program for veterans and active military members, has been made permanent.

THDA Director Ralph Perrey announced the pilot program’s new permanent status Thursday during a visit to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home.

Perrey said the THDA board voted last week to continue discounting interest rates on THDA home loans to veterans, active military members and their spouses last week and his visit to Mountain Home was the first of several stops planned to spread the news at veterans’ hospitals and military installations across the state.

“We’re getting the word out and we want you to talk it up,” Perrey told representatives of local housing assistance programs gathered for the announcement.

“You all know veterans or someone serving who can use it. Make them aware. This is a good value for them. It’s an opportunity for them to achieve the American dream.”

Homeownership for the Brave reduces the 30-year fixed mortgage rates on THDA home loans by 1/2 percent and includes down payment assistance of up to 4 percent for veterans and active military personnel in Tennessee, who Perrey said continue to volunteer in larger numbers than those from other states.

He said the program was implemented “to make home ownership easier for those who serve,” but was introduced at a time when many were deployed overseas and unable to take advantage of the preferential rates.

“We began the program a couple of years ago and it occurred to us a great many active military were not here because they were deployed. As soldiers are coming home, we asked our board and they agreed” to make it permanent, Perrey said.

“We’ve done 94 or 95 (loans) in two years. THDA likes the program. We piloted it and the response has been pleasing and indicates interest. So now we’re making it permanent.”

VAMC Director Charlene Ehret welcomed the news, saying home ownership is the ultimate achievement in the continuum of services designed to end homelessness among veterans.

Information about Homeownership for the Brave can be found online at www.thda.org or may be obtained by calling the THDA at 615-815-2100 or by mail at 404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1200, Nashville, TN 37243-0900.

THDA loan applications are available at most Tennessee banks.

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