Friday, August 29, 2008

Three Quarters of Military Families are Renters: New Regs Provide Relocation Assistance in Foreclosures

Seventy-five percent of military families are renters, according to Pentagon and Army officials. Homeownership remains an elusive dream for most military families.

These military families have been hit particularly hard by the mortgage crisis. As with so many other renters living in property facing foreclosure, military families are losing their homes unexpectedly and through no fault of their own after their landlords fail to make mortgage payments.

To help alleviate the hardship to military renters, a new federal regulation provides military families who are renters with financial assistance for moving costs when a service member, or the service member's dependent, relocates from rental housing because of a foreclosure. Specifically, the military will pay moving costs of relocating to another home as long as the home is within commuting distance from the Permanent Duty Station. The Department of Defense is circulating a memo with the above changes to the Join Federal Travel Regulation to military officials.

Unlike many other legislative efforts to address victims of the mortgage crisis which primarily focus on homeowners, this relocation assistance is for renters only. The regulation specifically excludes military homeowners from receiving relocation assistance where they have lost a home they owned in a foreclosure.

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