U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) lauded the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) for listening to Hawai‘i’s veterans and quickly increasing the loan guarantee limit for the City and County of Honolulu. Earlier this year, the VA had made changes to its loan guarantee program resulting in a significant drop in the maximum loan guarantee for Honolulu. Following the change, Senator Schatz reached out to the VA and the FHA to ask for a review of their decision and to take Oahu’s high cost-of-living into consideration. The VA’s new decision increases loan guarantees from $625,500 to $721,050 and will make it easier for Hawai‘i’s veterans to own a home on Oahu.
“The VA’s loan program helps veterans achieve the American dream that they fought to preserve for all of us, and it needs to accurately reflect the cost of owning a home in Hawai‘i so more families can afford to stay here,” said Senator Schatz. “We are fortunate that in Secretary Shinseki we have a VA Secretary who is a Hawai‘i veteran who understands the unique needs of Hawai‘i. We were able to quickly work with the VA to make this important change to make it easier for Hawai‘i veterans to own a home and stay here in Hawai‘i.”
The previous decrease in the level at which the VA offered loan guarantees would have resulted in higher down payments and increased financing rates for veterans and their families. Last year, more than 5,000 families in Hawai‘i relied on VA loan guarantees.