VA Home Loans and Housing-Related Assistance
VA home loan programs may be used to obtain homes, condominiums, or manufactured homes; refinance an existing home loan; or install energy-saving improvements.
VA offers these three main types of guaranteed home loan benefits:
- Purchase Loans
- Cash-Out Refinance Loans
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans
Native American Veterans
For Native American Veterans who want to live on Federal Trust land, VA’s Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program is another option. It provides direct loans to eligible Native American Veterans for the purchase, construction, or improvement of a home
Adapted Homes for Disabled Veterans
VA also offers grants to Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities to build an adapted home or install ramps, widen doors, or make other modifications to live more independently. VA operates three types of grants that accommodate Veterans’ unique circumstances: Specially Adapted Housing, Special Housing Adaptation, and Temporary Residence Adaptation.
VA Assistance to Veterans Who Are Severely Disabled
Adapted Home Benefits
Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities may apply for grants to build an adapted home or install ramps, widen doors, or make other modifications to live more independently.
All grants have maximum amounts set by Congress and are indexed to construction costs. VA Special Housing Grants (which if awarded do not have to be repaid) may be available as well for those Veterans with service connected disabilities to provide ‘barrier-free’ living environments.
VA administers three grants that accommodate Veterans’ unique housing needs:
- Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants are generally used to create wheelchair accessible homes. In FY 2016, the maximum amount is $73,768.
- Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grants are generally used to enhance Veterans’ mobility throughout their homes. In FY 2016, the maximum amount is $14,754.
- Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grants are for eligible Veterans and Service members who are temporarily residing in a home owned by a family member that needs modifications to accommodate the Veteran’s or Service member’s needs. In FY 2016, the maximum TRA grant is $32,384 for SAH-eligible Veterans and Service members, and $5,782 for SAH-eligible Veterans and Service members.
Help for Homeless Veterans
If you are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, contact your local VA medical center; call 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838); or visit the VA per the link below and they can connect you with the care you need to get back on your feet.
Private-sector lenders underwrite and fund VA home loans according to established VA standards. VA’s partial guaranty for these loans means that nearly 90 percent of all VA-guaranteed home loans are made with no down payment required.
If a VA-guaranteed loan becomes delinquent, VA works with the borrower to avoid foreclosure, including providing financial counseling and, in some cases, direct intervention with a mortgage loan servicer on the borrower’s behalf. In 2013, VA loans had the lowest foreclosure rate of all types of loans in the market. If you are a Veteran or Service member having difficulty making mortgage payments, call 877-827-3702 to speak with a VA Loan Technician.
Borrowers must have suitable credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan.
- Suitable credit and sufficient income
- A valid VA home loan COE that verifies to lenders that you qualify for benefits
- DD-214 or other applicable service documents
- Certification that you will occupy the home
- Other documents as needed for obtaining a home loan
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grants
- A rating by VA that you are as medically eligible for SAH grant benefits
- Evidence that it is considered medically feasible for you to live in the proposed housing unit and locality
- A proper relationship between the cost of the proposed housing and your current and future income and expenses
- Suitability of the dwelling to your needs
- Proof of ownership, such that the property can be adapted
VA Application Process
- Determine the specific evidence you need to obtain a home loan COE.
- Prepare all documents and evidence before completing an application for a COE.
- Obtain a home loan COE through http://eBenefits.va.gov , your lender, or the Atlanta Eligibility Center.
- Once a VA COE for home loan benefits is obtained, contact several lenders who participate in the VA program to find out which one will offer the most favorable terms for your unique situation.
- Work with the lender you select throughout the remainder of the home buying process.
Specially Adapted Housing Grants
- Fill out and submit VA Form 26-4555, Application in Acquiring Specially Adapted Housing or Special Home Adaptation Grant.