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Soldier’s Home: A Closer Look at the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) Home Loan Program

This report provides a descriptive analysis of the VA home loan program between 2005 and 2014. The analysis provides an overview of the VA loan program, its trends, borrowers, and lenders. The findings highlight the growing role of VA loans in home finance markets since the beginning of the Great Recession. VA loans represented approximately 9 percent of all mortgage lending activity in 2014, up from less than 2 percent in 2005. The lenders originated at least one VA loan in 95 percent of all counties during the 2012 to 2014 period.

During this time, refinance loans came to represent a majority of VA lending for three straight years (2012-2014) because of historically low interest rates. VA origination rates are consistently high for minority home purchase loans, when compared to conventional home purchase loans, even as default rates are said to be low, which may, at least in part, reflect the programs’ approach. Private mortgage companies and large volume lenders play a big role in the market, with program lender requirements possibly limiting small lender involvement. As long as the program can adapt to future changes, such as a smaller and more diverse veteran population and an increased importance of internet access, the VA loan products will continue to be a source of high quality, affordable housing finance for many veterans and their families.

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Aging Veterans in the United States

A snapshot of older veterans and their social, economic, and housing characteristics.

To better understand and inform strategies and policies for America’s aging veterans, the Housing Assistance Council has published Aging Veterans in the United States an analysis of data describing the older veteran population.

The United States is on the cusp of an extensive and far-reaching demographic transformation as the senior population is expected to nearly double by 2050. This is similarly the case for the veteran segment of the population who make up about 9 percent of the U.S. population. A large and growing proportion of this veteran population is composed of those age 55 and over, “older” Americans. As this group grows older, it is important to consider their unique characteristics and issues, which include health problems and physical limitations associated with aging. A rapidly aging population will significantly impact nearly all aspects of the nation’s social, economic, and housing systems.

Rural Veterans Resource Guide

The report contains program sheets that describe various programs and initiatives available for veterans as well as eligibility requirements and additional resources for each program. Keywords are provided to better help orient the guide. Each keyword can be found at the back of the report with a list of corresponding programs and their page numbers within the guide. HAC’s Veteran Resource Guide aims to provide insights into how to better utilize available resources. Knowing where to refer veterans to for needed services is critical in ensuring that veterans receive the services that will enable them to remain in safe, secure housing.






From Service to Shelter: Housing Veterans in Rural America

No veteran who has risked his or her life to protect our homes should return to find that they are not able have their own. For their sacrifice, it is imperative that we ensure our veterans have access to safe, affordable, and secure housing. This can be particularly challenging in rural America due to vast geographies, limited resources, and less social service infrastructure. The overall demographic picture of veterans will undergo major shifts in the coming years. As two wars overseas wind down, more veterans will be coming home. Returning to all corners of our nation, they will have housing needs to be addressed. The demographic changes associated with the baby boom generation and the overall graying of America will also shape veterans housing needs. The aging veteran population will have its own unique challenges. Ensuring that their housing needs are met is the least we can do to thank them for their service to this country.