Most discussion regarding guaranteed loans from the Veterans Affairs Department involves how the system can benefit veterans and families seeking to finance (or refinance) their new home.

But as with any guarantee, there are times when the marker is called in. VA owns properties of all types and attempts to re-sell them on the housing market just as any financial institution would after a foreclosure. But unlike those institutions, a special VA program can put those properties to use to help veterans.

In place since 1991, the VA Homeless Shelter Program allows qualifying agencies and nonprofits to purchase VA-owned properties that have been on the market for more than a month at a discounted rate, provided the housing is used for homeless veterans and their families. It’s not even vet-specific: Housing can include homeless non-veterans, so long as they don’t take up the majority of the spots available.

The discount goes up the longer the property has been listed, per a VA fact sheet: A 20 percent price cut for homes on the market for one to two months; a 35 percent cut for those on the market from two to three months; and a 50 percent cut for those on the market more than three months.

Consult the link above for more information on agency eligibility and other program restrictions.