Sunday, February 6, 2011

US veterans hit hard by housing crisis

More than 20,000 veterans, active-duty troops and reservists who have taken out special government-backed mortgages have lost their homes.

Foreclosures near military bases increased more than 30 percent in the last two years, nearly 10 percent higher than the national foreclosure rate, according to RealtyTrac.

Last year's foreclosures on US veterans were the highest recorded since 2003.

The Homeless Veterans Initiative estimates that one out of every four homeless men in America is a veteran and that roughly 155,000 veterans live on the streets.

“To not be concerned about this is pretty callous especially in a time when we still have two ongoing wars,” Geoffrey Millard, director of Homeless Veterans Initiative, told Press TV.

Experts said the housing crisis is especially difficult for military families because of transfers, loss of civilian jobs left behind by reservists, and multiple deployments.

Millard added another hardship is that many vets like him are dealing with physical or mental issues which are an immediate priority over finances.

“This might be a time period in a returning veteran's life when they're just starting to struggle with things like post-dramatic stress, physical injuries and illnesses that are related to the war,” he told Press TV.

“The financial end of things is the last thing they're thinking about when they have day to day chronic pain. I can tell you with my chronic pain, some days I don't really care if the electricity is going to get shut off,” he added.

“Anytime you have multiple deployments, that also means then you have multiple points of obligation,” Saleem Abdul-Mateen of the Muslim American Veterans Association told Press TV.

Millard went on to say that some vets don't realize there are programs which can help, adding that if the Department of Veterans Affairs had not helped an estimated 66,000 families avoid foreclosure last year, the number of military and veterans losing their homes would have been much higher.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...