# 2015-198 - Home Equity Assistance Program (HEAP)

Home Equity Assistance Program (HEAP)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–10–30

The grievor purchased a residence and approximately one year later he was posted. Considering the unfavourable market and the fact that one of the materials used in the residence was the subject of a class action law suit, the grievor had to reduce the price of the home. An inspection found the material in question to be in excellent condition. Although the buyer recognized that no defects were found, there were some concerns regarding possible future repairs. The grievor sought to be reimbursed for 80% of his loss on the sale of his property through the Home Equity Assistance (HEA) program.

The Director Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) denied the grievor's request stating that any reductions of the sale price based upon deferred maintenance could not be included when calculating HEA.

The grievor claimed that the price concession was due to unfavourable market conditions compounded by the stigma caused by the class action law suit against the manufacturer and the requirements of the service.

The Initial Authority (IA) agreed with the DCBA and denied the grievance stating that according to article 8.2.13 of the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program, any reduction of the purchase price based on deferred maintenance would not be included when calculating HEA. More specifically, the IA explained that the buyer requested a reduction because the residence contained material that at some point in the future, would need to be replaced. In the IA's view, "deferred maintenance" includes future repairs.

The Committee disagreed with the interpretation of both DCBA and the IA and found that evidence showed that there was no maintenance (repairs) needed in the residence as the material had been inspected and found to be in excellent condition and so, there was no maintenance to be deferred. Consequently, the Committee found that the reduction of the sale price of the grievor's residence was not based on deferred maintenance but, as explained by the Realtor, on the difficult market in the area.

The Committee recommended that the CDS order the reimbursement of the grievor's loss of HEA from his core envelope.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–01–20

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievor be reimbursed the loss of HEA in the amount of $5,200 from his core envelope, in accordance with a Section 8.2.13 of the CF IRP: the reduction of the sale price of the grievor's home was not based on deferred maintenance.

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