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October 3, 2009

Uncle Sam offers relocating military personnel some aid

There's nothing like having to relocate during a housing slump to give you heartburn if you're a homeowner, especially if you bought just a few years ago. But if you're in the military, you might be due some help.

The Department of Defense -- which employs a lot of people who have to move around every few years -- has $555 million earmarked to reimburse personnel for some of the difference between their purchase and selling price. That includes BRAC folks, the people moving to Maryland (and elsewhere in the country) for the national base realignment and closure process.

While the initiative "is not designed to pay 100 percent of losses or to cover all declines in value, it can help protect eligible applicants from financial catastrophe due to significant losses in their home values," the DOD said.

Here's how the agency is prioritizing the money, which comes from the February stimulus package:

1. Homeowners wounded, injured, or ill in the line of duty while deployed since Sept. 11, 2001, and relocating in furtherance of medical treatment;

2. Surviving spouse homeowners relocating within two years after the death of their spouse;

3. Homeowners affected by the 2005 BRAC round, without the need (which existed under previous law) to prove that a base closure announcement caused a local housing market decline; and

4. Service member homeowners receiving orders dated on or after Feb. 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2009, for a permanent change of station (PCS) move. The orders must specify a report-no-later-than date on or before Feb. 28, 2010, to a new duty station or home port outside a 50-mile radius of the service member’s former duty station. These dates may be extended to Sept. 30, 2012, based on availability of funds.

More details about the expanded Homeowners Assistance Program here. Might this apply to you?

And for non-military folks: Have any of you received help from your employer for a relocation?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 7:00 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: BRAC, Relocating
        
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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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