By Victoria Belle-Miller
Veterans have provided a service to this country and are entitled to receive certain benefits, including home loan benefits from the VA loan program. Veterans who were disabled as a result of their service in the military are entitled to additional VA loan benefits, as well as fair and equal protection under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Act. VA loan benefits and the protection they receive from this act can help veterans find affordable housing and save money while allowing them to live comfortable lives.
HUD Takes Action Against Discriminatory Landlords
In early March, HUD charged two landlords in New York with violating the Fair Housing Act because they would not allow a disabled veteran, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to have a doctor-prescribed therapeutic dog in his apartment. Once the veteran filed a housing discrimination complaint, the landlords allegedly threatened to evict him from his apartment. The case was reviewed and the verdict ruled in favor of the veteran, stating that the actions of the landlords were indeed a violation of the Fair Housing Act. The landlords received a $16,000 penalty for each violation of the act.
Although the apartment complex had a “no-pets” policy, according to the Fair Housing Act, the landlords should have altered the rules for the veteran because he had a disability, especially since the accommodation in question was a reasonable request. John Trasvina, the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said it is their duty to ensure that veterans “have access to safe and affordable housing, free from discrimination.” HUD’s prompt action on this matter shows that the housing needs of veterans are heard and are met accordingly. Just as with anyone else, they do not deserve to be discriminated against.
Disabled Veterans Can Receive Other Benefits
Veterans who were disabled during their time in the military not only have access to fair housing advocacy, they are also eligible to receive special VA loan benefits. These benefits already offer great incentives for homebuyers, such as no down payment and no mortgage insurance. But disabled veterans receive the additional VA loan benefit of exemption from paying a funding fee and, in certain states, property taxes, which can save them hundreds or thousands of dollars! Disabled veterans also can receive accommodation grants to make their homes more accessible for their disabilities. These accommodations often include home improvements, such as renovating rooms to allow for greater access or building additions like wheelchair ramps.
As a Deserving Disabled Veteran, Make the Most of Your Rights
Disabled veterans have given up a lot for their country, and now is the time for them to let their country thank them. Disabled veterans can take advantage of multiple benefits the VA loan program has to offer, including access to affordable housing and the right to live in their homes without facing disability discrimination. To learn more about the Fair Housing Act, visit HUD’s website at www.hud.gov. To learn more about securing VA loan benefits and the additional benefits available to disabled veterans, contact a VA loan specialist!
About the Author: Victoria Belle-Miller is the newest member of the
.com writing staff. Her background in journalistic writing and ability to evaluate the issues that Americans face in daily life make her a strong addition to the
team and a source of sound mortgage advice!