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Baca Sponsors Bill to Increase Home Ownership Opportunities for Public Servants

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to dramatically expand access to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) owned properties for law enforcement officers, fire fighters, first responders, and teachers. The Community Partners Neighborhood Preservation Act of 2011 (CPNPA) expands on current affordable housing programs by giving these public service professionals additional opportunities to purchase the homes HUD has acquired due to foreclosures.

"Giving teachers, police officers, and other dedicated public servants greater incentive to purchase HUD owned properties creates a win-win situation for communities across the nation," said Rep. Baca. "Not only does my bill give more hardworking Americans access to affordable home ownership opportunities, but it also begins the process of revitalizing many low and moderate income neighborhoods that have suffered tremendous blight due to the recent foreclosure crisis."

Rep. Baca's legislation is designed to expand and improve two current programs offered by HUD, the Officer Next Door and Teacher Next Door. These programs incentivize public service professionals to purchase HUD owned properties in recovering areas by giving them a 50% discount off the appraised value of the home, and reducing the down payment necessary to $100, as long as the individual agrees to live in the home as a primary residency for at least 3 years. The CPNPA expands the eligibility of these programs to also include fire fighters and first responders, and also increases the pool of HUD owned properties eligible for purchase from those located in specific "recovery" areas to all HUD homes acquired through foreclosure.

"Since the economic downturn began in 2007, the rate of homeownership across the United States has fallen drastically," concluded Rep. Baca. "This legislation can serve as a critical step in the revitalization process for many struggling neighborhoods and communities. By giving teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and first responders an opportunity to purchase affordable homes - we can both reward our excellent public servants, and also begin to stabilize many of the local housing markets hit hardest in the recent foreclosure crisis."

The Community Partners Neighborhood Preservation Act has been endorsed by the National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization -- representing over 3.2 million teachers, school professionals, and retired educators.

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