More vets eligible for Cal-Vet Low Interest Home Loans
Governor's Press Office
/ Published June 19, 2008
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008, the "HEART Act," was signed into law Tuesday by President Bush.
Actively pushed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Department of Veterans Affairs, this legislation makes veterans who entered active military duty after Dec. 31, 1976 eligible to apply for Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bonds (QVMB) under the state's longstanding Cal-Vet Home Loan Program.
"All California veterans deserve our gratitude, whenever and wherever they served our country," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Today is a great day now that more veterans will be eligible for Cal-Vet home loans. We have been working toward this goal for a long time and now more veterans will have access to the low-interest home loans that veterans from World War I to the Vietnam War have enjoyed."
Governor Schwarzenegger personally encouraged lawmakers in Washington D.C. to support the HEART Act, which changes Internal Revenue Code to allow these benefits for recent wartime veterans. Until this legislation was signed, the Internal Revenue Code limited QVMB loans to veterans who served on active duty prior to Jan. 1, 1977. This made veterans of the Vietnam War the last wartime veterans eligible for this benefit. Supporters of the HEART Act have long contended that veterans from deployments to Panama, the Persian Gulf, Operation Desert Storm, Somalia, the Balkans, and now in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan should have access to the same benefit earlier veterans received.
Since 1922, California has operated, at no expense to its General Fund, the voter-approved Cal-Vet Home Loan Program, a QVMB program that has helped more than 419,000 California wartime veterans become homeowners. The Tax Reform Act of 1984 limited the use of QVMBs to wartime veterans with active military duty prior to 1977. The vast majority of California veterans from recent conflicts were not eligible before the HEART Act was signed. QVMB home loan programs are also available in Alaska, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin.