Partnering to Make Minority Homeownership
The Taylor Family and their road to successful homeownership were part of local events highlighting the National Conference on Minority Homeownership held October 15, 2002, Washington, DC. The Taylor family is one of many families who have used HUD-funded programs to achieve homeownership. Through the assistance of their Realtor, the Taylors became acquainted with a redevelopment project of single-family homes, known as "Maple Acres" in the City of St. Louis.
The "Maple Acres" development resulted from community activists and neighborhood residents petitioning the City of St. Louis officials for support in removing deteriorating, vacant properties in a crime-infested area of north St. Louis. With the support of the City and private developers "Maple Acres" was born. The City of St. Louis, a HUD entitlement grantee, used HUD funds, such as Community Development Block Grant and HOME, to provide construction costs subsidies to the builder to make new homes affordable. The City of St. Louis also provided other incentives, such as down payment and closing costs assistance, to eligible potential homebuyers. St. Louis has committed over $1.8 million to the Maple Acres development.
On Tuesday, October 15, 2002, the homeowners, the developer, the construction lender, representatives from HUD, Congressional offices and the City of St. Louis, the Realtor, the housing counselor, friends and neighbors were on-hand to welcome the Taylors as new home owners and highlight the Maple Acres development. The Taylors opened the doors of their home to Macie Houston, Regional Director, Region VII, and a host of community partners during the local minority homeownership event at their home on October 15, 2002. Additionally, the local FOX Affiliate in St. Louis conducted a live interview with Mr. Taylor that morning on the benefits of homeownership. Later in the day, Macie Houston shared President Bush's initiative to increase minority homeownership in America; and presented the Taylors with a plaque recognizing their achievements as homeowners and thanking them for representing the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are typical of the American family seeking
homeownership in America. Mr. Taylor is a special education teacher
and Mrs. Taylor works for the City of St. Louis, Mo. Although the
Taylors had sufficient income to purchase a home, they could not
find a home affordable to them in an area suitable for their family.
Nor could the Taylors amass all the funds required for the upfront
costs, such as down payment and closing costs. Through a host of
partners, including HUD and the City of St. Louis, homeownership
became a reality for the Taylor family. There are many more American
families like the Taylors. Nationally, the minority homeownership
rates are 49 and 46 percent for African American and Hispanic households,
President Bush convened the National Conference on Minority Homeownership, October 15, 2002, in Washington, DC, to discuss and outline strategies for implementing the Administration's goal of 5.5 million new minority homeowners by 2010. Strategies discussed and developed at the Conference are outlined in the "Blueprint for the American Dream." The Blueprint outlines four areas for increasing minority homeownership in America. Those areas are: