Saturday, July 30, 2011

Veterans' homes slip away

Veterans' homes slip away


The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Aguiars have lots of company. Veterans have always faced daunting problems in finding jobs, obtaining promised benefits, and meeting other challenges when they reenter civilian life. But to those problems has been added the fear of losing their homes. The Fort Myers-Cape Coral region, home to about 60,000 veterans, is a microcosm of what is happening to former service people all over America.

After the Second World War, returning veterans were welcomed home to two of the most successful government initiatives ever - the FHA and VA housing programs - which put millions of them into their own homes for the first time.

Today, later generations of veterans are being confronted by much different housing policies - ones that can toss them out of homes they've bought with their life savings.

John Aguiar is a veteran of the Gulf War, a former intelligence analyst for the Army who took part in Operation Desert Storm in 1990 when U.S. forces brought Saddam Hussein to heel after he invaded Kuwait.

Aguiar and his wife, Syrena, built a house in Cape Coral, Fla., after relocating from Chicago to be nearer her parents. Using proceeds from the sale of their Chicago house, they bought a lot in a new subdivision in the Cape, a middle-class suburb across from Fort Myers in southwest Florida.
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Veterans homes slip away

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