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Officials Promote Veterans Home Loan Program

Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  As veterans return to civilian life in Illinois, the state provides loans to those having trouble affording a home. Officials were in Springfield Wednesday, touting that program.

Navy veteran Jonas Harger welcomed Governor Pat Quinn into his Springfield home Wednesday. He says he couldn't have bought it without the help of the state's "Welcome Home Heroes" program.

Harger's military service qualified him for a $10,000 loan for his down payment, plus an affordable mortgage plan. Harger works as a prosecutor, and says he and his wife were struggling to find a house they could afford.

"I'm a public servant and people assume just because you're an attorney you make a lot of money," he said. "No, I do my job to serve the people of Sangamon County, and unfortunately, I don't have enough money to generate a down payment on a house as comfortable as this house."

Since 2011, the program has granted home loans to more than 11-hundred veterans and active military personnel in Illinois. Officials hope at least 500 more military families will participate this year.

Hannah covers state government and politics for Capitol News Illinois. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at WILL-AM/FM, Law360, Capitol Fax and The Daily Line before returning to NPR Illinois in 2020 and moving to CNI in 2023.
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