Simple improvements to DHOAS that could make a world of difference

Certainly, towards the end of last year (2022), we witnessed a series of changes introduced to DHOAS, which, in my opinion, marked a positive start. However, there’s room for improvement, particularly in terms of flexibility. For example, currently, individuals receive one certificate for their DHOAS currency after discharge, tying them to a specific bank for the entire duration of their loan. This limitation eliminates competition from the market and restricts the ability to explore better options.
We have put together a list of simple improvements to DHOAS that could make a world of difference. Let’s get the conversation started and maybe, just maybe, some of these changes can be implemented to better serve the ADF community.

Our thoughts on how to improve DHOAS:

  1. Regular Review and Adjustment:
    Periodic reviews of the program should be conducted to ensure that it remains aligned with the changing economic and housing market conditions.
  2. Expanded Eligibility Criteria:
    Consideration could be given to expanding eligibility criteria to include a broader range of ADF members or those who may not meet the current criteria but still face challenges in achieving homeownership.
  3. Increased Loan Limits:
    Regularly assess whether the maximum loan limits need adjustment to reflect changes in housing prices and the cost of living.
  4. Educational Programs:
    Implement educational programs to ensure that eligible ADF members are well-informed about the DHOAS program, its benefits, and how to apply.
  5. Streamlined Application Process:
    Simplify and streamline the application process to make it more accessible and efficient for eligible individuals.
  6. Flexibility in Subsidy Allocation:
    Consider providing flexibility in how the subsidy is allocated, allowing individuals to use it for specific purposes such as paying down principal or covering additional homeownership costs.
  7. Monitoring and Evaluation:
    Establish a system for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the program’s effectiveness, with a commitment to making necessary adjustments based on feedback and outcomes.
  8. Lender Options for DHOAS:
    On a similar note, another pressing concern with DHOAS is the limited pool of lenders—only three are currently available. Why not open it up to any lender? As long as individuals have the necessary credit and defence covers the cost, the choice of bank should be theirs. After all, DHOAS is designed to assist with home payments, and borrowers deserve the freedom to choose the most suitable option available to them.
  9. Multiple Certificates:
    Why limit individuals to just one certificate? It could be beneficial to provide multiple certificates, whether it’s five or an unlimited number. This change would empower borrowers to enter and exit the DHOAS market at opportune moments, allowing them to compete with other banks. The current system, with its one-certificate restriction, binds borrowers to a single bank for up to 30 years, a commitment that rivals some marriages. Having the flexibility to explore different options would be a significant financial relief for many.
  10. Digital Tracking System:
    Implement a digital tracking system that allows participants to monitor the status of their subsidy, providing transparency and reducing uncertainty.
  11. Incentivize Financial Institutions:
    Collaborate with financial institutions to provide additional incentives or benefits for ADF members participating in DHOAS, encouraging more favourable loan terms.
  12. Financial Counselling Services:
    Offer financial counselling services to DHOAS participants, providing them with personalized guidance on managing their finances and making informed decisions about homeownership.


Simple Improvements would Make a World of Difference

These simple improvements, when implemented thoughtfully, can contribute to the overall success and impact of DHOAS, making it a more effective and user-friendly program for current and former ADF members. By addressing the limitations mentioned and incorporating more flexibility into the DHOAS program, it can better adapt to the changing needs and preferences of participants, ultimately contributing to a more effective and responsive homeownership assistance initiative. DHOAS is a wonderful program, and with a few tweaks, it can be life changing for the ADF community.

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