FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about our organization.
Please contact us if you need more information.
To build and donate specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives.
Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) was started in 2004 by a Massachusetts general contractor who offered to build a Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldier a specially adapted custom home. The Soldier, who had been injured in Iraq, agreed to have him build the home on the condition he do the same for other injured Veterans.
Yes, we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by IRS regulations. Our Federal ID # is 54-2143612.
We build new, specially adapted custom homes.
We provide assistance to the most severely injured Service Members who have been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war since September 11, 2001.
Yes, we provide assistance to members of all branches of the military who qualify.
Our homes have over 40 major special adaptations to provide full access to the home for the Veteran. These adaptations include wider halls and doorways; automatic door openers; roll-under sinks, stove tops, and counters; pull-down shelving; backup house generator; sliding windows; roll in shower with digital temperature control; and a master bedroom closet that is a steel reinforced concrete storm room built to FEMA standards.
A Veteran must be approved for the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) benefits by the Veterans Administration. These benefits are provided to Veterans with severe physical injuries that cause loss of or loss of use of two or more limbs or are blinded. Most of our Veterans have one or more amputations, full or partial paralysis, burns, loss of sight, severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), or a combination of these injuries. For more information about the VA Specially Adapted Housing program, please visit the VA website at the following link: http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/adaptedhousing.asp.
As part of the Veteran’s review, HFOT conducts a criminal background check and a financial review to include the last three years of taxes, as well as banking, income, and outstanding debt information. Additionally, we conduct our final interview and assessment during the Veterans Conference that we host in Massachusetts.
Basic qualifying criteria for Veterans is as follows:
- Injured in the theater of Iraq-Afghanistan war, post 9/11/01.
- Retired or in the process of retiring from military service.
- Received letter of eligibility for the VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program.*
- Pass a criminal and credit background check.
- The HFOT home must be the primary residence. Veterans must accept the responsibility of home ownership and have the resources to maintain a home, including ongoing maintenance and upkeep, property taxes, home insurance, utilities, etc.
The home that HFOT provides is a specially adapted custom home designed to meet the needs of severely injured Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war who may need to spend all or part of their day in a wheelchair. By meeting the injury requirements for SAH benefits, which are established by Congress and are intended to define the most severely injured Veterans, the Veteran meets an objective public standard that fulfills HFOT’s requirement to be severely injured. HFOT does not have the medical expertise to make these determinations, and relies on the VA’s medical authorities to make the determination for eligibility, which is our first criterion for any Veteran’s acceptance into HFOT’s program.
The VA Specially Adapted Housing grant is provided to Service Members and Veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities to help purchase or construct an adapted home, or modify an existing home to accommodate a disability.
The current (FY2024) amount of the SAH grant is $117,014.
No. The VA provides grants to Veterans with certain permanent and total service-connected disabilities to help purchase or construct an adapted home, or modify an existing home to accommodate a disability. All Veterans applying to Homes For Our Troops must qualify for the VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) benefits. They agree to instruct the VA to issue the Veteran’s remaining/unused portion of their SAH or SHA Grant to which they are entitled, directly to HFOT upon completion of the home, as a way to pay it forward for the next Veterans coming into the HFOT Family.
As a highly rated military and Veterans nonprofit organization, Homes For Our Troops is 100% publicly funded, with approximately 65 percent of our operational budget generated by individual donors, private and family foundations, and community fundraisers nationwide who step up to help our Veterans by coordinating everything from lemonade stands to golf tournaments. The remaining 35% comes from corporate supporters in the form of cash and donated materials.
Since our founding in 2004, nearly 90 cents of every dollar spent has gone directly to our program services supporting Veterans. View our financial statements here.
- The Veteran or a representative for the Veteran completes an online Inquiry Form that can be found at the following link: https://www.hfotusa.org/inquiry
- Veterans meeting the criteria outlined in Question #8 will be contacted by a member of our Intake Department by telephone for initial screening. If the Veteran is not able to participate in this initial screening for medical reasons, a representative for the Veteran may complete the initial intake screening on the Veteran’s behalf.
- The Veteran submits a copy of his or her VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant letter of eligibility. Upon receipt of this SAH letter, the HFOT Intake Department will provide the HFOT New Home Application to the Veteran.
- The Veteran submits a complete HFOT New Home Application along with all requested attachments.
- The Application is reviewed by the Veterans Screening/Selection Committee (VSC). The Application is reviewed by the Veterans Screening/Selection Committee (VSC). The VSC determines which Veterans will be invited to the final step of the application process, the Veterans Information Conference.
- If selected, the Veteran and a guest will attend a Veterans Informational Conference in Massachusetts.
- Within 7 business days of the Veterans Informational Conference the Veteran will be notified by the Selection Committee whether or not they are accepted into the program.
No. The Veteran does not pay a fee toward the cost of the home, and there is no mortgage to be paid by the Veteran in the future.
No. Homes For Our Troops, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. As such, IRS regulations allow it to provide the home to Veterans in accordance with its mission and charter without any gift tax implications for the Veteran.
Rebuilding Lives is the most important aspect of our mission, therefore, we stay in contact with our Veterans after home delivery. Homes For Our Troops provides a pro-bono financial planner for three years to assist in financial planning and household budgeting. We also provide homeownership education and warranty coverage to ensure that the Veteran is set up for long-term success as a homeowner. One staff section’s sole focus is following up with our Veterans, and we also have a peer mentoring program consisting of Veterans and spouses in the HFOT program. To improve our post home delivery support, we continue to expand our network of nonprofits, corporations, and government entities to provide assistance with employment, education, training, health, and other issues. We strive to provide the linkage between the Veteran and the assistance he or she needs. Other differences include spending nearly 90 cents on the dollar to support the Veterans since our inception in 2004, building where the Veteran wants to live, and a comprehensive selection process.
Although the Veteran pays no mortgage, HFOT places a 10 year lien on the home. This protects the Veteran from losing the home due to foreclosure and safeguards our donors’ investments in the program; it also provides a period of time for the family to become more financially stable. Beginning in year six, the Veteran accrues 20 percent equity per year until he/she has full equity after 10 years in the home. Of the over 300 Veterans for whom we have built homes, only five have moved out before the end of their lien period. This is reflective of our thorough selection process, and follow up once the Veterans are in their home.
It is our goal to build homes of the highest quality, using exceptional products that endure the test of time (Whirlpool, CertainTeed, etc). We build our homes to Energy Star standards, providing maximum efficiency and lower utility expense. We look for builders who have a track record of superb workmanship in an effort to reduce the amount of maintenance and expense to our Veterans.
Homes For Our Troops selects experienced custom-home general contractors, local to the project site, to coordinate the construction of our homes in accordance with local building codes and requirements on a best-value, fixed-price basis. Our staff coordinates the delivery of top notch building materials donated by our national corporate partners to ensure each home is built to the highest of standards, providing our Veterans with a quality home that will stand the test of time and serve them well for many years to come.
How do I make a donation? You may make a donation using your credit card online at: www.hfotusa.org/donate, by calling our office from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday-Friday at 866-787-6677, or print out a form and mail in a donation to our office at:
Homes For Our Troops
6 Main St.
Taunton, MA 02780.
You can also become a member of Operation Lasting Support, our monthly giving program, for as little as $15 a month.
Learn more at: www.hfotusa.org/ols.
We do not have chapters. Our headquarters is located in Taunton, Massachusetts.
The Veteran decides the geographic area where he/she would like to live, considering proximity to family, medical centers, school systems, jobs, privacy preferences, and urban versus rural settings. The HFOT land team locates and provides lots to the Veteran, who then makes the final selection.
Yes, through the support of our national partner Cinch Home Services, Inc., each home is provided with a 3-year Complete Home Plan, ensuring comprehensive coverage for the critical systems and appliances in HFOT’s homes. The general contractor also provides a one-year limited warranty. HFOT stands by its homes, and will fix any original construction problems that arise; there is no time limit.
HFOT requires the Veteran to participate in a financial planning program with a pro bono financial planner for three years. Additionally, HFOT provides the Veteran with information on property tax exemptions for which he/she may qualify.
All HFOT Veterans are required to secure and maintain homeowner’s insurance on their homes to guard against damage caused by fire, wind, certain natural disasters, and other causes. Should a Veteran’s HFOT home suffer a catastrophic loss, HFOT is available to assist and guide the Veteran, while the homeowner’s insurance helps the Veteran cope with the financial consequences.
From acceptance into the HFOT Family to Key Ceremony, currently our builds average 40+ months, with our target/goal timeline being 24-36 months. Our construction timelines include land search, permitting and physical construction of the home.
We carefully manage our build schedule with our revenue flow to ensure we continue to build a home for every Veteran brought into our program.
Please contact our Marketing Department at 508-823-3300 Ext 216 or e-mail email@example.com.
The charter that established Homes For Our Troops and determines what we can and cannot do was filed in 2004 with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That charter, the guidance and oversight from our National Board of Directors, and our mission statement specify that Homes For Our Troops exists to build specially adapted custom homes for the most severely injured Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war. As such, we are authorized and recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization chartered to raise money for that purpose. When we have accomplished the mission for which we are chartered, our National Board will review our charter and mission for adjustment. Approximately 90% of the inquiries about assistance that we receive are from Veterans who do not meet our profile. We are proud of the fact that we never say “no”; we provide resource and contact information for reputable organizations that may be able to address the challenges that Veterans are experiencing.
Yes, you can make every mile count by joining Team HFOT/DIY Runners. The Team participates in many of the World Major Marathons. Learn more at www.hfotusa.org/TeamHFOT.
Due to privacy concerns, we do not provide the contact information of our Veterans. We can provide your contact information to Veterans as appropriate.
To keep nearly 90 cents of each dollar spent going to support our Veterans, we made a deliberate decision to minimize the amount of money we spend on advertising. While we are working to develop more national exposure, including public service announcements on television and radio, as well as social media, we firmly believe our success in growth is due to our outreach at the local community level where our Veterans live. We are a grassroots organization, and our approach to marketing mirrors who we are.
Our Corporate Partners include: A-1 Industries, ABC Supply, ACE Cash Express, American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA), Broan-NuTone, Bubba’s 33, Budget Blinds, CAES, CALIBRE, Capstone, CertainTeed, Channellock, C.H.I. Overhead Doors, Cinch Home Services, Coretec, Ferguson, Heating Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), Harvey Building Products, Haselden, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, H-E-B Operation Appreciation, Leonardo DRS, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, MITER Brands, OakCraft Elegant Cabinetry, Patriot Coolers, Progress Lighting, Rev-A-Shelf, Ring, Rinnai, Shaw Industries, Sherwin- Williams, Silestone, Sparkling Ice, Stater Bros. Charities, Texas Roadhouse, The Ilsababy Foundation, Veterans United Foundation, Wayfair, WB Liquors & Wine, Whirlpool, and Wounded Warrior Project. Learn more about becoming a partner at www.hfotusa.org/partner.
Homes For Our Troops respects both our Veterans’ and our sponsors’ privacy, and therefore does not comment on the specifics of relationships. Each sponsorship package is customized to meet the needs of the corporation. Some sponsors provide monetary donations; others provide services or high-end building material (in-kind donations) or a combination of both.
HFOT will accommodate the Veteran’s geographical preferences as much as possible. Currently, HFOT has completed home projects in 45 states nationwide. Cost and certain topographic requirements such as no mountain-side lots or flood zone areas may affect build viability in certain areas of the country. However, HFOT works with the Veteran to find the right lot.
No, not at this time. We rehabbed a small number of homes prior to 2008, but have built only new homes since then.
No. We participated in the Home Award Program for a limited time, assisting 24 Veterans and families to receive previously foreclosed homes donated by financial institutions. These homes were provided mortgage-free to the Veterans to assist them in rebuilding their lives.
We build four-bedroom, two bath, specially adapted energy efficient homes of approximately 2,800 square feet. We think this provides the right size home for a Veteran to comfortably raise a family while limiting expenses for utilities. The home design allows a Veteran to do a complete 360 in a wheelchair anywhere in the home. This is key to restoring some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed defending our country.
To build one of our specially adapted homes, HFOT selects a local, licensed, and insured General Contractor (GC) to oversee daily site activities and coordinate local trades. GCs are screened for quality, and a background check is performed to ensure only the most proficient and conscientious are chosen. Each home is built using one of HFOT’s proprietary home plans, with GCs strictly following our detailed installation and quality control steps. HFOT developed these plans based on years of experience building specially adapted custom homes, including Veteran feedback. During construction, each home is physically inspected by a Construction Manager a minimum of four times. All stages of construction are verified through digital photo documentation in advance of payment to the general contractor. This ensures that all homes are built to the Homes For Our Troops’ standard and pass the Veteran Administration’s guidelines for accessibility.
WHY WOULD VETERANS WHO HAVE PROSTHETIC LEGS REQUIRE A SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOME? AREN’T THEY ABLE TO STAND AND WALK AROUND JUST FINE IN A REGULAR (NON-ADAPTED) HOME?
What many people don’t know about the amputee population is that when these Veterans are at home, many actually prefer to be in their wheelchairs resting and recovering their residual limbs. Prosthetic use and wear, especially after a long day, can become quite cumbersome and uncomfortable, often irritating sensitive and exposed skin areas. Prosthetics are not ideal to stand on for long periods of time while performing household tasks, such as washing dishes or preparing meals; nor are they practical to put on at nighttime when getting out of bed for the bathroom or tending to a child. Living in an HFOT specially adapted home alleviates those issues for our injured Veterans and aids in their recovery, allowing them to have complete wheelchair accessibility and avoid falls and further injuries.
The newfound freedom of a specially adapted custom home enables these Veterans to focus on their recovery and return to rebuilding their lives. Many of our home recipients embark on new careers, pursue college degrees, start or expand families, become entrepreneurs, and return to doing activities they enjoy. HFOT conducts a survey every two years to adequately assess the impact of our specially adapted custom homes on the lives of Veterans and their spouses/caregivers. The most recent survey reveals more than 90% of HFOT home recipient Veterans regained their freedom and independence after receiving their home. The number of Veterans who have or are pursuing a degree or trade certification increased from 18 percent to over 72% once they received their homes; spouses/caregivers went from 19% to 79%. Veteran employment more than doubled after moving into their homes, with spouses and caregivers employment more than tripled. Home recipients also saw a significant financial benefit from the financial freedom of the home. Full results can be found at www.hfotusa.org/impact.
Homes For Our Troops DOES NOT solicit donations over the phone.
Homes For Our Troops keeps donor information confidential and DOES NOT sell its contact lists.