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FY 99 Budget
III. Homeownership and Housing

Continuing Growth      Affordable Housing

Housing needs in America remain substantial. More than five million very low income families pay more than half their limited incomes for rent. Staggering numbers of families and individuals have no homes at all: the best estimates suggest there are 600,000 homeless on any given night. While the nation has achieved record homeownership rates, homeownership for minorities, for female-headed households, and for residents of central cities remains 20 to 30 points below the national rate.

Since 1995 Congress has provided no new incremental rental assistance. In 1996, the New York Times had a memorable cover on their magazine. They called it "The Year Housing Died."

The President's FY 1999 budget reverses this course. The President's 1999 budget gets HUD back into the housing business - not by creating new programs, but by reinventing existing ones.

To expand homeownership opportunities, HUD proposes higher FHA loan limits, new Homeowership Zones, new Empowerment Homeownership Vouchers and increased funding for housing counseling.

To expand affordable rental housing opportunities, HUD proposes 100,000 new vouchers to help welfare recipients, homeless individuals and families and other targeted groups find affordable housing. A new HOME Bank will combine increased funding for the HOME program with a new loan guarantee feature to help communities finance large-scale multifamily and homeownership developments. HUD is also maintaining our investment in HOPE VI and other public housing programs and renewing all expiring Section 8 contracts. HUD continues to implement the successful Continuum of Care strategy and the 1999 budget includes a record level of funding to help end the tragedy of homelessness. In addition, the Clinton Administration proposes to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to build 180,000 new affordable units over five years and to finance a $30 million pilot homeownership program through the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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