RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thousands of veterans and their families are in danger of losing their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new government-wide effort could help them keep a roof over their heads.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering two new mortgage relief programs to help those impacted by the pandemic stay in their homes.

Jeffrey London, Executive Director of the Veterans Affairs’ Home Loan Program, said, “VA wanted to take additional measures to make sure no veteran slips through the cracks.”

Under the new COVID-19 Refund Modification, veterans could see a significant reduction in their monthly mortgage payments.

London said, “VA will actually work with the mortgage servicer to target a 20% reduction in their mortgage payment.”

This program is only available until Sept. 30, 2021.

Another option is the VA Partial Claim Payment Program. In this case, the VA will pay your overdue mortgage payments and create a second mortgage on the property interest-free.

“That takes that financial burden off their backs if they’re ready to start making their mortgage payments again,” London said.

For both programs, you don’t have to pay the VA back until you either refinance or sell the loan. This program will remain in effect until Oct. 28, 2022.  

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must currently live in the property
  • Be less than 30 days overdue on any mortgage payment as of March 1, 2020.
  • Enter into a forbearance agreement with the lender
  • Must have faced a COVID-related financial hardship

To apply you can contact your lender or call 877-827-3702. You can learn more on the VA’s Housing Assistance Section on its website.