MALONEY CONTINUES HER FIGHT FOR VETERANS BENEFITS, INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ENSURE FAIR HOUSING FOR VETERANS
WASHINGTON – Late last week Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) took another significant step forward for veterans rights. Rep. Maloney, a child of a World War II veteran, introduced H.R. 3571 a bill that would give veterans the freedom to choose where they live. The Veterans Housing Fairness Act of 2000 will allow veterans to use their VA loans to purchase co-ops.
"A home is a home, and veterans should have a right to live in a co-op if they so chose. Many of my civilian constituents live in co-ops and my constituents who are veterans deserve the same opportunity," stated Maloney.
The Congresswoman decided to take action after learning that a constituent attempted to purchase a residential co-operative unit, but was denied access to co-operative housing when he was told that his VA loan could not be used. Under current law VA loans can be used to purchase a house, townhouse, condominium, or mobile home, but not a co-op. For many veterans who live in communities where co-operative housing is common, or where the cost of houses and condominiums can be high, a co-operative residential unit is an affordable alternative.
The Veteran Housing Fairness Act of 2000, H.R. 3571, will allow veterans to use their guaranteed VA loans to purchase co-operative residential units. Under this legislation the Department of Veterans Affairs would prescribe the regulations of the program. The VA already gives loans to other types of homes, even mobile homes which are considerably riskier investments than co-ops. Also many banks accept co-op shares as collateral as they would a house or condominium.
"HUD and other government agencies already give loans for co-ops, why shouldn't the VA give veterans the same opportunities," said Maloney.
Currently serving in her fourth consecutive term in Congress, Rep. Maloney has continually made veterans rights a top priority on her legislative agenda. Her most recent accomplishment was working with her colleagues in securing funding for VSIN 3, the Veterans Integrated Network which serves New York and New Jersey.