The National Association of Realtors® made a public appearance on Capitol Hill this week with testimony before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.
NAR 2016 Vice President Sherri Meadows with Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA) of the U.S. House Veterans Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity
NAR 2016 Vice President Sherri Meadows testified in support of the Veterans Affairs Department’s Home Loan Guaranty Program, the Specially Adapted Housing Grant Program, and other pro-homeownership opportunities for American veterans.
“NAR applauds the good work that the VA is doing to assist veterans who want to purchase a home, and we’re excited to work with them and improve those programs,” said Meadows. “There’s a real opportunity ahead to strengthen existing benefits and help more veterans achieve the dream of homeownership.”
Meadows reiterated NAR’s support for changes to existing programs that could further benefit veterans. In particular, Meadows highlighted the need for increases to VA loan limits. In her testimony, Meadows said that such a move is important, particularly for veterans in high-cost areas, and would offer veterans greater flexibility to make decisions about their home purchase.
In addition to higher loan limits, Meadows’s testimony laid out a number of NAR priorities including:
- Changing current rules to give veterans the power to negotiate certain fees in their home purchase, putting them on a level playing field with non-VA borrowers.
- Incentivizing financing for a Veterans Renovation Pilot Program, similar to the Federal Housing Administration’s 203(k), allowing veterans to purchase a home in need of repairs while still enjoying their VA guaranty.
- Fully funding and staffing the Specially Adapted Housing Program, ensuring disabled veterans are able to find or retrofit housing that accommodates their needs.
In addition to calling for policy changes, Meadows reminded the Committee of Realtors®’ commitment to veterans. She noted that many Realtors® are in fact veterans themselves, and noted that Realtors® are committed to working with current and former military service members.
NAR’s “Military Relocation Professional Certificate” program, she noted, offers insights about finding housing solutions that best suit the needs of current and former military members while allowing them to take full advantage of their military benefits. Over 6,800 individuals have earned this certification, which is available to Realtor® members.
“Realtors® are proud of the important role they play helping veterans who are ready to become homeowners,” said Meadows. “I look forward to seeing those efforts go further so we can improve the critical programs available and support even more veterans down the road.”