In the early days of the Republic, Texas gave its veterans land in recognition of their military service. Spurred by returning World War II veterans, the Legislature established the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) in 1946 to continue this tradition by providing Texas veterans with long-term, low-interest land loans.
Today, the VLB oversees five veterans programs. The three-member governing body (Board) of the VLB is responsible for the administration of the Veterans Land Program, the Veterans Housing Assistance Program, the Veterans Home Improvement Program, the Texas State Veterans Homes Program, and the Texas State Veterans Cemetery Program.
The Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office serves as Chairman of the Board and is joined by two citizen members. Both citizen members are appointed by the Governor. One of the Governor’s appointees must be well-versed in veterans affairs and the other experienced in finance. Appointed to four-year overlapping terms, the two citizen members must be confirmed by the Senate and are required to execute a $50,000 bond to the state. The Deputy Commissioner of the VLB serves as Executive Secretary for Board members during public meetings.
As of January 2008, Board meetings are held on a quarterly basis, but special meetings may be called if necessary. Board meetings are open to the public and since 2005 have been webcast live.
Board meeting agendas are posted in the Texas Register and can be accessed via the Texas Secretary of State website. Agenda must be posted seven working days prior to a Board meeting.
Experience shows Texas veterans are a great credit risk. Even so, sometimes veterans can’t make the payments on their VLB loans and must forfeit their land. The Texas Veterans Land Board then makes these tracts of land available for other Texas veterans to bid on every January, April, July and October. Land that isn’t sold at these auctions is then available for public purchase.
Stephen F. Austin Bldg Room 170
1700 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
- George P. Bush, Chairman // January 2015 - Present (Ex officio)
- Alan L. Johnson // January 2009 – December 2016
- Andrew J. Cobos // May 2015 - December 2018