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Rubio, Ossoff Introduce Bill to Help First Responders and Teachers Become Homeowners
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced the Homes for Every Local Protector, Educator, and Responder (HELPER) Act, which would establish a new, one-time use home loan program or law enforcement officers, firefighters, medical first responders, and teachers. Representatives John Rutherford (R-FL), Al Lawson (D-FL), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and John Katko (R-NY) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. On September 7, 2021, Rubio and Rutherford met with first responders and teachers in Jacksonville, Florida to announce the introduction of this bill. The HELPER Act is supported by Heroes First Home Loans.
“First responders and teachers work tirelessly to serve our communities, and they have faced incredibly difficult circumstances over the past two years,” Rubio said. “As housing prices continue to skyrocket, our bill would help ensure that teachers and first responders can own a home in the communities they dutifully serve.”
“With this bipartisan bill, I’m working across the aisle to support Georgia’s teachers, first responders, and police officers by making home ownership more affordable for public servants who teach our kids and protect our families,” Ossoff said.
“America succeeds when we invest in those who serve our communities,” Rutherford said. “This includes our teachers, paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement officers, and firefighters. The HELPER Act extends a home loan benefit to these community heroes, offering them assistance to purchase a home when it might not otherwise be possible. Thank you to Senator Rubio for his leadership on this important legislation.”
“The HELPER Act will provide a more streamlined home loan program that delivers access to affordable housing for our nation’s first responders and educators,” Lawson said. “Millions of Americans have experienced the hardships of COVID-19, and our frontline workers never wavered in doing what needed to be done during these challenging times. This legislation will assist them in finding affordable housing and eliminating barriers like a down payment requirement and a monthly insurance premium requirement.”
“America’s best are drowning and we can’t leave them behind,” Samuel P. Royer, national director of Heroes First Home Loans and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said. “It’s time for us to honor the brave heroes of the schools and streets by eliminating the financial burdens accompanied with homeownership. I’m grateful to Senator Rubio and Senator Ossoff for their support in turning this common-sense bill into a legislative reality.”
El Homes for Every Local Provider, Educator, and Responder (HELPER) Act would:
- Create a new home loan assistance program administered by the Federal Housing Administration for law enforcement officers, firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), paramedics, and pre-K-12 teachers who have served for at least four years in their respective roles.
- Eliminate a mortgage down payment requirement.
- Eliminate a monthly mortgage insurance premium requirement.
- Include a 3.6% upfront mortgage insurance premium to help fund the program.
- Only allow for one-time use of the program by eligible individuals.
- Require reauthorization after five years.