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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (July 21, 1998 - Samoa News)---The reinstatement of the Veterans Home Loan Program has already been signed into law for another five-years by U.S. President Bill Clinton , according to Congressman Faleomavaega Eni.

The Congressman was responding to a Samoa News article last week that stated Faleomavaega is seeking to extend the Loan Program for local veterans.

The Samoa News article was based on the information distributed by the Congressman's local office during a meeting between the Congressman and veterans two Fridays ago.

Faleomavaega said the information about the Veterans Administration (VA) loan program outlined in the handout that was given to veterans and the local media is outdated and should not have been distributed.

Instead, in a telephone interview from his office in Washington D.C. last Friday, the Congressman told Samoa News that the Veterans Home Loan Program was extended last year until Fiscal Year 2003. The budget is $5 million per year.

He also stated that the same rules as before apply. All veterans can apply for a loan of up to $80,000 to build homes on communal lands, or for home renovation.

The Development Bank of American Samoa is the local screening authority under the federal program.

"Under the first authorization bill (from 1993), loans have been approved for 48 new homes in American Samoa," the Congressman pointed out. "For all American Samoan veterans who have not yet obtained a loan, the authorization of this program is excellent news."

Prior to federal amendments in 1993, local veterans were not eligible for VA home loans due to American Samoa's unique communal land system. The same requirement had also prohibited veterans from Hawaii and Native Indians living on reservation lands to acquire home loans from the VA.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to 

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