A bill was recently introduced that would give first responders (law enforcement officers, firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians, paramedics) and teachers access to no down payment options for securing a mortgage. The legislation was introduced by the House of Representatives in May and has been dubbed the HELPER bill, short for Homes for Every Local Protector, Educator, and Responder. The bipartisan HELPER bill is showing support for the community.

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This is just one instance of the government reaching out to the people who work every day to make America a better place.

Breaking down HELPER

The national director of Heroes First Home Loans, Samuel Royer, first initiated the HELPER bill. As a former member of the Marine Corps who has benefited from similar legislation created for veterans, Royer looked at this bill as his chance to give back to his community. On may 20th, the HELPER bill was officially introduced by Representatives John Rutherford (R-FL), Al Lawson (D-FL), John Katko (R-NY) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).

The end goal is to give these service workers a leg up in today’s extremely competitive housing market. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index, most people have to pay more than 14% of their income in order to satisfy their home payment.

If passed, the HELPER bill would create a one-time-use home loan program that could be used one time under the Federal Housing Administration. Additionally, qualifying people would not need to make a down payment.

This would create opportunities for first responders and teachers that may not otherwise be available. Lastly, HELPER would remove the obligation for a monthly mortgage insurance premium, which is required for all FHA loans.

Government recognition

Teachers add immense value to society just by going to work every day. First responders like EMS personnel also have a low starting pay rate. Despite all this, the federal government has taken action to ensure that those who have chosen such a noble career path are taken care of.

In fact, HELPER is very similar to an already established program called VA Home Loan Program. Through this loan program, United States military veterans can receive benefits which reduce the initial cost of buying a home and can save them up to $90/month in payments. Similar government programs are not uncommon and serve a reminder that the government is grateful for the service of these individuals.

Community recognition

Teachers and first responders directly impact the community they work with and are often held at high personal esteem for their contributions. Despite the discrepancy in financial payment, many who serve find the nature of their work rewarding.

As an example, a survey of 2,000 people showed that 76% say they would gladly pay for a first responder’s meal, if they were out eating and saw one in a restaurant. A bipartisan piece of legislation like the HELPER bill, is a tangible way for a community to show their support.

For some, it might have been easy to take local protectors, educators and responders for granted, but 2020 truly exposed how invaluable they are. The balance of society was held in the palms of doctors, nurses, firefighters and EMT’s. Teachers adapted their entire teaching method and continued working toward a more educated tomorrow. Communities rallied together to support essential workers through classroom funds, in-store discounts and mask drives.

First responders, teachers and health care workers dedicate their lives for the betterment of society. These are people who often live in the communities they serve and the federal government is looking to help those communities show their gratitude by introducing important legislation like the HELPER bill.