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History of the VLB

In 1946, the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) was created by the Texas Legislature.

First Recipients
Presley & Marie Williams, the first recipients of a Veterans Land Board loan, 1949.

The Board consists of the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Commissioner of the General Land Office. Several years later, the Board was authorized to issue $25 million in bonds, the proceeds of which were to be for buying land to resell to Texas Veterans who served in World War II. Initially, the Veteran could purchase a minimum of twenty acres of land, but no loan could exceed $7,500. Two years later, an amendment expanded the program benefits to Veterans of the Korean War.

In 1956, another constitutional amendment changed the structure of the Board to the Commissioner of the General Land Office and two gubernatorial appointees, one of whom must be well-versed in Veteran Affairs and one experienced in finance. With the arrival of the 1980s, the VLB began offering the Texas Veterans Housing Assistance Program (VHAP). This program provided low-interest loans of up to $45,000, used in conjunction with a mortgage loan from a private lending institution, to purchase new or existing homes. As of 2019, the VHAP loans are available for up to $484,350.

In 1986, the Texas Veterans Home Improvement Program (VHIP) was instituted. Loans were made for home repairs or improvements eligible under the United States Housing and Urban Development Title I Program with a maximum loan of $17,500. Today, the VLB offers up to $50,000.00 for a 20-year home improvement loan or up to $10,000.00 for a 10-year home improvement loan.

Legislation passed for the construction of Texas State Veterans Homes in 1997. The first Texas State Veterans Homes opened in Floresville and Temple in 2000. The following year, two Texas State Veterans Homes opened in Big Spring and Bonham. In 2005, two additional Texas State Veterans Homes opened in McAllen and El Paso. In 2007, another Texas State Veterans Home opened in Amarillo. In 2012, another Texas State Veterans Home opened in Tyler.

Legislation passed for the construction of Texas State Veterans Cemeteries in 2001. Two years later, the first Texas State Veterans Cemetery opened in Abilene. In 2006, the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission and the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen opened. In 2011, the Coastal Bend Texas State Veterans Cemetery opened in Corpus Christi.


The VLB Mission

The mission of the VLB is to ensure that we offer the very best package of Veterans benefits in the country and those of us who work for the VLB strive to meet those goals every day. For 70 years, we have had the honor to serve Veterans, Military Members and their families in Texas, and we look forward to keeping that promise in the years to come.