East Hawaii News

Seminar Saturday on Home Loans for Veterans

February 21, 2014, 1:50 PM HST
* Updated February 24, 9:08 AM
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Information on changes to home loans for veterans will be provided at a free seminar to be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Hilo.

The seminar will be held at Room 111 in the Hawaii Innovation Center of Hilo, located at the former Bank of Hawaii building at 117 Keawe St.

The seminar presented by Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii, a VA-approved lender, will focus on a policy change instituted Wednesday by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to reinstate loans for homes that utilize water catchment systems.

The Department of Veterans Affairs had stopped processing new loans or refinancing of existing loans for homes on catchment in 2011.

Saturday’s seminar will include a presentation by Tony Dias of Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii.

According to the VA, there are more than 117,000 veterans in Hawaii, including 15,760 on the Big Island as of Sept. 30, 2013.

There are currently 2,242 home loans backed by VA guarantees statewide.

Officials with the county’s Civil Defense Agency and Department of Water Supply said they could not provide any information on the number of homes on the Big Island using water catchment.

However, the University of Hawaii estimated in 2010 that up to 60,000 Hawaii residents are dependent on catchment systems — equivalent to about a third of the population of the Big Island, where nearly all of such systems are located. Since Hawaii’s average household size is 2.9 persons, that suggests that more than 20,000 Big Island homes use catchment.

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