Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time for our nation to celebrate and reflect upon the contributions of black Americans. At HUD, we celebrate the work of black Americans every day in our efforts to ensure that every individual has the tools necessary to achieve the American Dream.
Over the next month, Blacks in Government (BIG) will be hosting two events at HUD headquarters. For nearly 30 years, BIG has been a strong voice for black employees at every level of government by advancing their theme of promoting "Equity, Excellence, and Opportunity."
At HUD, we celebrate that theme every day through our work. We promote equity through our commitment to HUD's fair housing programs, we promote excellence through our dedication to serving those in need, and we promote opportunity, most notably, through our focus on moving families into homeownership.
Today, the homeownership rate stands at its highest level in history. Nearly 70 percent of Americans own a home, and minority homeownership has surpassed 51 percent for the first time ever. HUD is working hard to close the minority homeownership gap, and in only two years, 2.2 million minority families have joined the ranks of homeowners.
These accomplishments would have been impossible without the good work of HUD's employees.
As February begins, let us remember the many contributions that black Americans have made to our Department and our nation. And let us recommit ourselves to building a society in which every person can realize the promise of America.