Georgia Senator pushes for support of legislation to help police, teachers buy first homes

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On Monday, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff was in Henry County to promote the passage of legislation he’s sponsored to help first responders, like police officers and firefighters, as well as teachers, buy their first homes.

The Homes for Every Local Protector, Educator and Responder Act, which Ossoff sponsored alongside Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in March 2023, would help first responders and educators across the U.S. buy their first homes.

In Henry County, Commission Chair Carlotta Harrell was supportive of the legislation, saying it was about more than just making changes to how programs operate.

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“As your County Chairwoman, I stand before you in support of Senator Jon Ossoff’s bipartisan HELPER Act to assist first responders in purchasing their first home. This legislation isn’t just about policy, it is about compassion, community and empowerment,” Harrell said at the housing event.

Should the HELPER Act pass, first responders and teachers would have access to a one-time use home loan program from the Federal Housing Administration which would give them the ability to buy their first homes.


A statement from Henry County officials said the mechanism, logistically, is similar to how veterans receive loans from the FHA when buying a home.

The legislation has 22 cosponsors in the U.S. Senate, making up a quarter of the chamber. According to congressional records, the bill has received bipartisan support.

The bill summary from the U.S. Congress says “this bill establishes a program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide mortgage assistance to law enforcement officers, elementary and secondary school teachers, firefighters, or other first responders. Specifically, these individuals may be eligible for a first-time mortgage on a primary family residence with no down payment. Instead, the mortgage is subject to a one-time, up-front mortgage insurance premium.”

Reiterating his support for the bill, Ossoff said first responders and teachers must be able to afford housing where they work, rather than living outside of the communities they serve.

“First responders and teachers are not choosing their careers for the money. They’re choosing their careers because they care. And we should honor that sacrifice., Ossoff said at the event on Monday.

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