WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Lawmakers are considering a bill to help first responders and teachers buy homes.
Right now, buying a home is so expensive that Chief A.J. Panebianco with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police says many first responders can’t afford it.
“Their pay is often more stagnant than the housing market,” Panebianco said.
The same is true of teachers. That means those public servants aren’t able to own home in the communities that they serve.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia are working on a bipartisan fix for that.
“This bipartisan legislation that is aimed at making homeownership more affordable for heroes and public servants,” Ossoff said.
They’re trying to create a special home loan program for first responders and teachers. Their plan would eliminate down payments and mortgage insurance premiums for those workers.
“There’s a lot of reasons why housing costs are high and unaffordable and we’re trying to address one of them through these changes in the law,” Rubio said.
Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., is part of the group pushing matching legislation in the House.
“[Those] who risk their lives and dedicate their lives for the betterment of our societies to have that break so that they can get into those homes with their families,” Katko said.
Advocates believe this is crucial to both recruit and retain these essential public workers. Sam Royer, the national director of Heroes First Home Loans, believes this has the potential to really impact lives.
“It gives them a fighting chance to afford a home in today’s housing market that has skyrocketed over the last few years,” Royer said.
The lawmakers behind the effort say these workers deserve it.
“This is the least that we can do and I’m hopeful we can get this done,” Rubio said.