BOST BILL TO EXPAND AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPTIONS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today introduced bipartisan and bicameral legislation to improve access to affordable housing programs for volunteer firefighters and first responders. The Volunteer First Responder Housing Act would expand access to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program in order to improve recruitment and retention for volunteer departments.
“Many of our rural communities depend on their local volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel to run toward danger during times of emergency,” said Bost. “As a former firefighter, I’ve seen how difficult it can be for these departments to recruit and retain qualified personnel. Our legislation will improve access to affordable housing for these dedicated first responders.”
The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program helps lenders provide loans to low or moderate income households in rural areas. The Volunteer First Responder Housing Act would allow qualified first responders to deduct $18,000 from their incomes for the purposes of eligibility.
The expanded access included in this legislation for the Good Neighbor Next Door Program would also give discounts on homes owned by HUD in certain revitalization areas to volunteer firefighters and EMS.
Support for the Volunteer First Responder Housing Act
The legislation is supported by the National Volunteer Fire Council, National Rural Housing Coalition, National Association of Towns and Townships, International Association of Fire Chiefs, and National Association of Counties.