Military ombudsman appeals to defence chief over home equity losses

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Canada's military ombudsman is appealing to the country's new defence chief to intervene on behalf of Armed Forces families who've swallowed huge home equity losses after being transferred across the country.

Pierre Daigle has written to Gen. Tom Lawson, saying his office has received "numerous complaints" about the home equity assistance program and the Department of National Defence's requirement to conduct door-to-door moves.

The Canadian Press reported last week that at least 146 military families faced financial hardship between 2007 and 2010 after being rejected for full compensation after selling their homes in depressed markets.

The ombudsman recently investigated eight cases, saying something must be done about the differing interpretation of federal policy when it comes to compensating soldiers for a mandatory transfer.

He says it's a growing problem that is eating into morale.

No one at National Defence was immediately available to comment, but last week a spokeswoman said the department it does what it can help military members make educated financial choices.