PenFed Bridges First House Financing Gap for Military Families

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation helped more than 200 military families across 39 states to attain homeownership in 2013 with its Dream Makers program.

The PenFed Foundation nonprofit provided $1 million in grants through a program designed to assist first-time homebuyers offering downpayment and closing cost assistance. The nonprofit offers financial management assistance and home ownership aid to military families nationally combining public and private resources.

"Members of our armed services often have to postpone" homeownership because many military families frequently move around the country or overseas and, compared to their civilian peers, find it harder to save money for a downpayment for their first home, says Christopher Flynn, president and CEO of the PenFed Foundation. The Dream Makers program "helps bridge that gap.”

The program helps military families purchase their first home offering grants to service members and veterans of all branches of the military including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense and widows.

To qualifying military families gross annual income must not exceed $55,000, or 80% of the area median income, also they must attend a first-time homebuyer’s course approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that among others educates them about foreclosure risks.

Through a unique public-private partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, PenFed funded the Penny Anderson Defenders Lodge, a $17 million project covering all labor expenses for the foundation to ensure nearly every dollar donated goes directly to supporting its programs.

Homeownership probably is one of the best ways "to thank the military community for their service and sacrifice," Flynn adds.

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