The VA’s First Tribal Consultation Sessions
The Department of Veterans Affairs has hosted its first tribal consultation focused on providing services to American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans in Washington, D.C.
The meetings focused on areas concerning the three major components of VA. Within the Veterans Benefits Administration, the discussion centered on the Native American Direct Loan Program, which enables eligible Veterans to use their VA home loan guaranty benefit on federal trust land.
“This consultation means that American Indian and Alaskan Native veterans are in a better position to take advantage of their VA benefits, such VA home loans,” said Phil Georgiades, chief loan steward at VA-HLC, a San Diego-based Veterans Services organization that specializes in arranging VA loans and advising veterans, active-duty military and their families about homeownership. “This can only do good, as it helps the VA understand and address the needs and concerns of these veterans. At the same time it helps individuals access much-deserved benefits,“ continued Georgiades.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said, “The only way we can fully address the concerns of these veterans is through a consistent and comprehensive dialogue. We consider these meetings vital to that effort.”
This was the first of four scheduled meetings the VA plans to hold in 2012 to address the needs of the American Indian and Alaska Native Veteran population, currently estimated at 200,000.
As well as the discussion on the Native American Direct Loan Program by the Veterans Benefits Administration, the Veterans Health Administration discussed how the VA can engage tribes in activities related to an agreement with the Indian Health Service and the National Cemetery Administration explored ways of increasing awareness of a public law stipulating that grants to tribal organizations will be made in the same manner as grants to states.
“One of the biggest issues with veterans is knowledge of and understanding of what VA benefits are available to them. We applaud these consultations as they begin to address this area,” said Georgiades.
“In terms of VA home loans I urge veterans to contact VA-HCL as our loan officers can explain the process and eligibility requirements and set veterans on the right road to becoming homeowners.”
For more information about VA home loans; or eligibility requirements and loan limits, as well as how VA-HLC helps veterans with VA loans, refinancing, short sale processing, and foreclosure avoidance, call 888-573-4496 or visit https://www.vahomeloancenters.org.
About VA-HLC / VA Home Loan Centers
VA Home Loan Centers is a qualified lender of mortgage loans to United States Veterans. The VA loan program helps veterans, active and former duty military, and certain spouses of wounded, MIA or KIA United States service personnel achieve the American dream homeownership. Services provided by VA Home Loan Centers include real estate representation such as VA loan short sale processing, purchase assistance and VA loan application processing. To learn more, visit the VA-HLC website here.