Congresswoman Tenney Introduces Legislation to Support Volunteer First Responders

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Washington, DC – RealEstateRama – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24), alongside Congressman Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), introduced the Volunteer First Responder Housing Act, legislation to expand eligibility for qualified volunteer emergency responders to participate in certain federal housing assistance programs.

Original cosponsors of the legislation include Representatives Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA).

Specifically, this bill would expand eligibility for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Division and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program. The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program assists approved lenders in providing loans to low and middle-income households to help build, rehabilitate, and improve homes in eligible rural areas.

“Rural communities across New York’s 24th District and the country rely on volunteer first responders to keep our communities safe,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “The Volunteer First Responder Housing Act will expand federal housing assistance to these dedicated individuals in the communities they serve. Providing housing assistance to volunteer firefighters will help to reduce response times by enabling volunteer firefighters and EMTs to live closer to their stations. This bill provides much-needed and well-deserved housing incentives and benefits to our next generation of volunteer firefighters and EMTs so they can continue their brave work serving our communities.”

“Long Island relies almost entirely on volunteer firefighters to prevent, combat, and extinguish fires while also providing other emergency services and, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s 2017 U.S. Fire Department Profile, 65 percent of firefighters nationwide are volunteers,” said Congressman Garbarino. “Recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters is critical for thousands of communities, yet local volunteer fire departments continue to find it difficult to meet staffing needs. With a high cost of living making it more difficult than ever to buy a home, the Volunteer First Responder Housing Act would provide a helping hand to those who give their time, at great personal risk, to safeguarding our communities.

The full text of the bill can be found here.


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