On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis launched the “Salute Our SoldiersMilitary Loan Program (SOS) to help veterans and active duty military personnel buy homes throughout Florida.

DeSantis, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) Executive Director Danny Burgess and Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) Executive Director Trey Price announced the new program.

“I’m excited to announce my administration’s newest veteran-focused initiative: the “Salute Our Soldiers” Military Housing Loan Program for veterans and active duty military personnel throughout the state,” said DeSantis. “To start, Florida Housing will set aside funds to assist over 1,000 veterans and active duty military members by making the homebuying process easier and more affordable. More veterans calling Florida home is a great thing for all involved and we look forward to the positive impacts this program will have on the lives of our veterans and the communities in which they live.”

The governor’s office offered some of the details on the new program which starts on March 2.

“Administered by Florida Housing this program is offering up to $8 million in a variety of down payment and closing cost assistance, coupled with low-interest rate first mortgages. Importantly, there will be down payment and closing cost assistance options that will be forgivable after five years,” the governor’s office noted.

“As an Army Reserve captain and former state legislator, I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve those who served us,” said Burgess. “Following on the heels of our Forward March statewide veteran outreach initiative, I’m proud to join Governor DeSantis today for this announcement to encourage veterans to set roots in Florida and call our state home.”

“Florida Housing is grateful to our veterans and active duty military members for their service and sacrifice to this country,” said Price. “To show our appreciation, we along with Governor DeSantis, wanted to provide them with an incentive to put down roots and call Florida home.”

According to the governor’s office, the program will include the following:

  • A variety of down payment and closing cost assistance products with little or no interest charged;
  • Florida Assist down payment assistance – $7,500 at 0 percent interest with no payments for 30 years but due upon sale or refinance;
  • Salute Our Soldiers PLUS forgivable down payment assistance – choice of 3 percent, 4 percent or 5 percent of the purchase price that is forgiven at 20 percent per year over five years. Active duty military members who receive official orders to relocate will have any remaining balance forgiven upon sale of the home;
  • Homebuyer Loan Program (HLP) down payment assistance – $10,000 at 3 percent interest over 15 years;
  • Reduced costs (no documentary stamp taxes or intangible taxes on the notes and mortgages) and fees to the military homebuyer; and
  • Veterans are exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement. Active duty military members cannot have owned a primary residence in the last three years.


Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.


Kevin Derby
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