# 2015-235 - Home Equity Assistance Program (HEAP), Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP)

Home Equity Assistance Program (HEAP), Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–11–24

The grievor bought his home at a peak in the housing market and, after being posted, sold it during a housing market correction at a loss. He sought to be reimbursed for 100% of his loss on the sale of his home through the Home Equity Assistance (HEA) program. As well, he sought capital improvements expenses as a custom benefit.

The Initial Authority (IA) stated that the grievor received the maximum amount of HEA in accordance with the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocated Program, and could only be granted reimbursement for the remainder of his losses if his residence was deemed to be in a depressed market area by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). The IA pointed out that it was the responsibility of the grievor, along with his realtor, to build a case and make a submission for the determination of depressed market status, and the grievor had not done so. In addition, the IA stated that since the grievor had not provided the information necessary to consider his request for capital improvements reimbursement, and because he had already expended all custom benefits available to him, he was therefore denied reimbursement for that loss as well.

The Committee found that the grievor had failed to make a submission to the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration so that it could be forwarded to the TBS for determination of depressed market status. Without that determination, the grievor was not entitled to reimbursement of 100% of his losses.

Regarding the capital improvements expense reimbursement, the Committee found that, despite being informed of the requirement, the grievor had not submitted any receipts or a list of the improvements, and therefore the Committee was unable to assess the request.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied. The CDS recognized that the grievor was aggrieved, and that he had no authority to provide remedy. Nonetheless, the CDS asked the grievor to submit his case for a depressed market assessment to the DCBA, and therefore, supported an extension to the 2-year time limit for payable expenses incurred during the grievor's move, as detailed in article 2.9.01 of the CFIRP, although he could not guarantee a positive result for the grievor with TBS. After a significant amount of time, including a second review that that was conducted by TB as a result of a case at the Federal Court, TBS declined to label the Edmonton area as a depressed market: the CDS continues to believe that this decision was unfair to the CAF members who, through no fault of their own, were placed in a detrimental financial position. The CDS intended to explore the options available to him to pursue this matter further.

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