Veterans United…More Than Just A VA Lender
“We’re here for our veterans in every way…not just as a lender,” said Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii Branch Manager Tony Dias. “Although getting our veterans into homes of their own is our principal goal as mortgage lenders, we’ve also expanded our role as advocates for veterans dealing with a wide range of social problems…foremost of these being homelessness.”
Dias, a USMC veteran, noted that of the estimated 4,500 homeless people on Oahu approximately 10-15 percent are veterans. Over the past year, the company has addressed the problem through alliances with various non-profits and charitable organizations dedicated to improving the lives of veterans dealing with poverty and illness. “We know people become homeless for a variety of reasons,” Dias said, “but the high percentage of veterans on our streets as a result of trauma or physical injury sustained in service to their country is not acceptable. Funds are always the primary need, but expanding awareness in the community of additional ways to alleviate the problem is also important.”
Recently, Veterans United presented a check for $1,000,000 to fight veteran homelessness from the company Foundation (see photo).
Members of the firm, including Dias, donate a percentage of their earnings to the Veterans United Foundation which matches the funds to support programs and organizations that benefit military people. The company, which is one of the nation’s leading lenders in the VA loan industry, has recognized the achievements of Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii with its prestigious “Enhancing Lives Award.”
“After eight years of reaching out to veterans with our free seminars on the VA Loan benefit, we know the importance of education and information…in the past three years, over 1,000 Hawaii veterans have been able to purchase or refinance their own home with a loan from Veterans United. To expand our reach into the community in behalf of veterans, last year we became a sponsor and member of The Veterans Movement. This is a vital, dedicated organization which has its own hour-long program on KHVH Radio every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. The response from listeners – veterans, friends and family of veterans, and members of the community wanting information on how they can help – has been truly amazing and gratifying,” Dias said.
KHVH Radio talk show host Rick Hamada, who co-hosts the program with members of The Veterans Movement, said, “The Veterans Movement radio program is an essential element in fulfilling the mission of the Movement which is to help veterans. And, the radio program will play an important role in the expansion of the Veterans Movement’s overall presence and impact in our community. In addition to the lively discussion, which listeners are welcome to join…and do…it serves as a clearing house for all issues affecting our men and women who have worn the uniform and who continue to do so today.”
Dias noted that one of the important issues affecting veterans’ eligibility to purchase a home in Hawaii with a VA Loan has been a loan limit of $721,050 for Honolulu County where the median sales price has climbed to $719,500 as of November 2014 per the Honolulu Board of Realtors. “The show has helped us rally support for a higher loan limit…Congressional members such as Colleen Hanabusa have joined us on the show to explore ways we can bring this problem to the attention of the appropriate federal agencies,” Dias said.
Upcoming VA Loan Seminars
Veterans United seminars include Powerpoint presentations & free workbooks. Question and answer periods follow the presentations. For more information and directions, call 677-LOAN (5626).
Thursday, January 15 6 8 pm
Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii Educational Center
94-539 Puahi St., 2nd Floor Waipio, HI 96797
TOWN SEMINAR Tuesday, January 27 6 8 pm
Keller Williams Honolulu 1347 Kapiolani Boulevard,
2nd Level Honolulu, HI 96814