WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Local lawmakers sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs requesting they make homeownership more attainable for veterans.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and 64 other Congress members contributed to the letter which was sent on June 1. In the letter, lawmakers argue specifically that the department should explore how VA mortgage loans can compete in today’s marketplace and ensure veterans have negotiating power throughout the home buying process.

The letter also referenced the housing market and the increase in sales prices. Lawmakers argued that veterans are not able to compete with other buyers.

“Historically, VA mortgage loans were appealing and competitive to sellers. Unfortunately, the current housing market and the rise in cash and conventional loans with waived contingencies can leave veterans unable to compete with other buyers,” the letter stated. “VA borrowers are less successful than borrowers using conventional loan products, with 11% of VA borrowers changing loan products during their housing search, compared to only 1% of conventional borrowers who change financing methods.”

Lawmakers also prompted the department to respond to a list of questions they drafted regarding their concerns. The questions focused on the VA’s future plans on how to make improvements, funding fees, how Congress can assist the department, and more. The complete letter that was sent to the department can be found here.