WASHINGTON, DC – US Representative John Katko (R, NY-24) introduced the Homes for Every Local Protector, Educator, and Responder (HELPER) yesterday.
This bipartisan legislation would create a new home loan program under the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for teachers and first responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, rescue workers and paramedics. Katko introduced this measure together with US representatives Al Lawson (D, FL-5), John Rutherford (R, FL-04) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, NJ-12).
Many first responders and educators face financial barriers to buying a home in today’s competitive housing market and as a result are often unable to obtain home ownership in the same communities in which they operate. The HELPER Act addresses this problem by establishing a new home loan program under the FHA that creates a process for first responders and educators who have served their communities faithfully to buy a home cheaply. Modeled on the successful VA home loan program that provides home loan benefits to our country’s veterans, the HELPER Act removes financial barriers to buying a home such as a large down payment.
“The ongoing pandemic has long overdue the spotlight on some of America’s most important unsung heroes. From teachers to police officers to paramedics, rescue workers and firefighters, we’ve seen these professionals loyally support our nation during the pandemic, sometimes putting their own lives on the line to carry out their duties, ”said Rep. Katko. “Unfortunately, these heroes, who make great sacrifices for our communities, often cannot find affordable housing in the communities they serve. That’s why I’m proud to work with Republicans and Democrats to introduce the Law on Homes for Every Local Protector, Educator, and Responder (HELPER). This non-partisan law introduces a federal program modeled on the VA home loan program that provides teachers and first responders with targeted financial support and helps them become homeowners. “
In particular the HELPER Act:
Created a one-time home loan program under the FHA for law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics (EMT), paramedics, and teachers prior to K-12.
Eliminates a down payment requirement; and
Eliminates a monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP).