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Rubio, Ossoff, Brown, Colleagues Reintroduce Bill to Help First Responders and Teachers Become Homeowners

May 10, 2023 | Press Releases

For first-time home buyers, saving for a down payment is often the biggest barrier to homeownership. Inflation, rising home prices, and interest rates have made homeownership more difficult for individuals and families who have prioritized public service. 

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reintroduced the Homes for Every Local Protector Educator and Responder (HELPER) Act to create a first-time homebuyer loan program under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for teachers and first responders who have served at least four years in their respective role.

  • “Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. Our public servants’ ability to reside in the neighborhoods they serve is crucial to the strength and resilience of our communities. As already high housing prices continue to rise, the HELPER Act would ensure that our teachers and first responders can own a home in the communities they dutifully serve.” – Senator Rubio

  • “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.” – Senator Ossoff

  • “Our teachers, firefighters, law enforcement, and first responders protect and serve our communities. Yet I hear from officers and educators in Ohio that too often they can’t find an affordable place to live in the city or county where they work. When we make housing more affordable for teachers and first responders, we improve recruitment for these crucial jobs and we give more Ohio families a shot at the middle class.Senator Brown

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) are original cosponsor

U.S. Representatives John Rutherford (R-FL) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) reintroduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

  • “Many of our nation’s first responders and educators face financial obstacles when trying to buy a home in today’s competitive housing market, often making it difficult for them to live in the community they serve. The HELPER Act makes homeownership a reality for teachers, paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement officers, and firefighters. Modeled after the successful VA home loan program, the HELPER Act eliminates requirements for a down payment and a monthly mortgage insurance premium, removing some of the barriers preventing first responders and educators from purchasing a home.” – Congressman Rutherford

  • “The nation continues to lean on the sacrifices and bravery of everyday, hardworking Americans — first responders, nurses, America’s educators, and other public-sector employees — it’s time for us to recognize their needs and create opportunities for them to own homes. It’s time we eliminated the barriers that make it so difficult for our teachers and frontline workers to secure housing, and the HELPER Act does just that.” – Congresswoman Watson Coleman

  • “America’s best are drowning and we can’t leave them behind. It’s time for us to honor the brave heroes of the schools and streets by reducing 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.” – Samuel P. Royer, president of Salute Home Loans & U.S. Marine Corps veteran

The HELPER Act would:

  • Create a new home loan assistance program administered by the FHA for law enforcement officers, firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and pre-K-12 teachers who have served for at least four years in their respective roles and are first-time home buyers.
  • Eliminate a mortgage down payment requirement.
  • Eliminate a monthly mortgage insurance premium requirement.
  • Include an upfront mortgage insurance premium to help fund the program.
  • Allow for a one-time use of the program by eligible individuals.

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October 2021: Rubio, Ossoff Introduce Bill to Help First Responders and Teachers Become Homeowners