# 2015-288 Pay and Benefits, Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program, Temporary Dual Residence Assistance

Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP), Temporary Dual Residence Assistance (TDRA) 

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015-12-30

The grievor purchased a house using his retirement savings and immediately took out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) to replenish his retirement savings. On posting, the grievor was unable to sell his residence right away and requested reimbursement for the interest on his HELOC under the Temporary Dual Residence Assistance (TDRA) benefit. The Director Compensation Benefits Administration denied the grievor's request.

The Initial Authority (IA) highlighted the fact that the grievor used the HELOC to rebuild his retirement savings and that he had been treated fairly. The IA further explained that TDRA is intended to compensate for actual and reasonable expenses associated with maintaining two residences, which included reimbursement of interest on a mortgage, not interest on a HELOC.

In referring to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website, the Committee found that a HELOC is very similar to a mortgage, since both are tied to the equity in the home and both are secured by that equity. The Committee also noted that the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP) directive acknowledges that a HELOC could be used as a second mortgage for the purpose of obtaining Bridge Financing to purchase of a residence. A review of the grievor's HELOC confirmed that the purpose of it was indeed to purchase his residence and that it was secured against the property.

Noting that the TDRA policy provides for reimbursement of expenses ‘such as’ interest on a first mortgage or a second mortgage, the Committee found that it was suggestive of the type of eligible expenses, was not all inclusive and did not specifically exclude HELOCs. The Committee therefore recommended that the grievor be reimbursed for interest charges on his HELOC under TDRA, provided all other conditions were met.

FA Decision Summary

The Director Canadian Forces Grievance Authority, as the Final Authority (FA), agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation. 

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