OMB to end delays on loans for homeless veterans

From: "Bruce K Melson" <>


OMB to end delays on loans for homeless veterans

(EXCERPT) WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Veterans' Affairs Committee
Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) announced that the White House Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) has indicated it will end delays in
implementing a 1998 law enacted to provide affordable housing for
formerly homeless veterans.

The Veterans Programs Enhancement Act of 1998 was signed into law on
Veterans Day of that year. The program calls for up to 5,000 units of
transitional multi-family housing for once-homeless veterans who are
becoming productive wage earners. The program combines private-sector
expertise with public-sector financial guarantees.

One of the first things Smith did after becoming VA Committee chairman
was to repeat the request last December of his predecessor, Rep. Bob
Stump (R-AZ), and Ranking Democrat Lane Evans (D-IL) that OMB end
delays in implementing the program. New OMB Director Mitch Daniels met
with Smith and agreed to end obstacles to implementation.

OMB later informed Smith that it would grant VA's waiver request to
permit a 100 percent loan guaranty to borrowers under the program,
thus removing the principle cause of the delays.

"Congress clearly intended this new law to supersede any inconsistent
laws governing federal credit programs," Smith said. "I wanted to
underline that Congressional intent as early as possible with the new
Administration. I'm pleased that OMB Director Daniels has acted so
quickly and I'm glad for the veterans affected by this action."

OMB promised to meet with VA officials to discuss conditions of the
waiver and progress of the program. The program is scheduled to be an
oversight topic of the first hearing of the VA Subcommittee on

Please visit, the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
web site, named 'One of the Best Web Sites in Congress' by the
Congressional Management Foundation, May 3, 1999.

"When the way comes to an end, then change - having changed, you pass
      I. Ching

 Bruce "Doc". Melson