For many veterans who proudly served our country, the dream of homeownership is just a dream. The foreclosure crisis hit military families particularly hard. In 2008, foreclosure rates in military towns were increasing at four times the national average. Some unscrupulous subprime lenders even targeted military families to push subprime loans.
In response to the growing need for affordable housing across the country and in support of veterans who dream of becoming homeowners, Habitat for Humanity kicked off a national program to get more military and national service members involved with Habitat.
The current numbers are staggering:
-- The unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans is a staggering 15% -- compared to 9% for the general public.
-- About 8% of veterans serving since Sept. 11, 2001 spend more than half of their income on housing.
-- Hundreds of thousands of new veterans are relying on savings and unemployment checks to make ends meet and support their families.
-- Only 8% of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of the homeless population are veterans.
We can't let this stand. We must do more to make sure military families have a chance at homeownership.
Every returning hero deserves a chance at safe and decent housing. Take action and support programs like Habitat’s that help veterans realize the dream of homeownership.