We habitually rely on numbers to gauge our successes. CalVet’s Home Loan Program has run up some pretty impressive ones:
- 100 years of helping California’s veterans realize the great American dream of home ownership.
- More than 425,000 veterans have taken advantage of CalVet funding since the California State Legislature created the program and Governor William Stephens signed the Veterans Farm and Home Purchase Act into law on May 30, 1921.
- More than $8.5 billion worth of mortgages funded.
However, one figure – microscopic by comparison – has enabled CalVet to amass all of those much bigger numbers: 27.
It is the number of times California voters have been asked to pass – and have approved – bond measures to fund the CalVet Home Loan Program. That leads to the biggest number of all: just shy of $9.4 billion in approved funding from those 27 bonds, and none of it at taxpayers’ expense.
Without those bonds, the other numbers would not exist. Nor, in all likelihood, would CalVet’s phenomenal Home Loan Program. Such numbers can only result from something much greater than digits. CalVet’s certainly do.
“Californians have always displayed a tremendous amount of respect and love for the veterans who have defended this nation and its Constitution,” said CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD. “They, in essence, keep a place in line for the American dream for those who served, and create opportunities for veterans returning to civilian life. Californians have rewarded them repeatedly and without fail for the past 100 years.”
When the fighting in World War I ended in November 1918, some 119,000 Californians came home as veterans. The state legislature looked for ways to thank and reward them, as well as to re-integrate them into the economy.
The Legislature passed four chapters (519, 758, 590 and 580) within the Statutes of 1921 that ultimately created both the Veterans Farm and Home Purchase Act and the Veterans Welfare Board to oversee it. Governor Stephens quickly signed it all into law on May 30 of that year.
In February 1922, former state senator J.B. Curtin of Sonora challenged the program’s constitutionality. The move held up funding until the Veterans Welfare Board went to the state supreme court, which confirmed it was constitutional. Funds were released and the program proceeded.
In June 1922, the first loan went to Owen W. Myers, a 100 percent disabled World War I veteran who obtained CalVet financing to buy a small home in East Los Angeles. The selling price was $4,120 on a 20-year note that was repaid within just 15 years.
Californians passed the first bond measure for $10 million, in November 1922, and continued to pass each successive bond as requested, including two – for $20 million in 1930 and $30 million in 1934 – when the nation was in the throes of the Great Depression.
Additional highlights by the numbers:
- Voters passed the first $100 million Veterans’ Bond Act in 1946, a year after World War II ended.
- Voters followed up with $175 million in 1954 and $500 million in 1956, both following the Korean War.
- Voters continued to support the program by passing one for $900 million in 2008.
- And, finally in 2018, the voters passed a bond for $1 billion!
Only once – for $250 million in 1962 – did a bond approval barely squeak by— 50.3 to 49.7 percent. Every other bond has passed with at least a 56.2 percent, and the 1943 bond measure passed with nearly 88 percent of the vote. Each has enabled CalVet to help more and more veterans and their families buy homes, to enhance their lives, and build upon their futures.
“Another impressive number is ZERO!” said Theresa Gunn, Deputy Secretary of the Home Loan Program. “The 450,000 plus veterans have repaid the $8.5 billion bonds without the tax payer paying one cent. I’m so excited just thinking about how many veterans we can serve in the next hundred years.”
Indeed, the numbers add up to a century of a robust alliance of veterans, CalVet, and California’s appreciative voters.
You might even say they’ve bonded.
For more than 100 years the CalVet Home Loans program has helped veterans build, rebuild, and own homes, and it will continue to do so for well into the future. For more information on obtaining a CalVet home loan, CLICK HERE or call us directly during regular business hours at (866) 653-2510. We are happy to help.