Alabama Homeownership Initiative Kickoff

[Photo: Senator Jeff Sessions and HUD Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson]
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) greets HUD Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson at the Montgomery kickoff of the "Alabama Homeownership Initiative" on July 1, 2003.

While Alabama's homeownership rate has historically been high, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was concerned that other states were overtaking Alabama. During his 2002 campaign he promised to organize a conference that would look at boosting Alabama's rate. On July 1, 2003, he launched the Alabama Homeownership Initiative at the Auburn University in Montgomery campus. Alabama Governor Bob Riley started the meeting with an appeal that linked homeownership to his "Laying the Foundation for Greatness" initiative to address the state's impending fiscal crisis.

Throughout the day, over 130 invited guests participated in panel discussions that involved every aspect of the housing industry: trade associations, state and federal agencies and government sponsored entities, nonprofit organizations and universities. US Representative Mike Rogers (R-3) led a panel on federal agencies that featured HUD's Birmingham Field Office Director Cindy Yarbrough. Also significant was the participation of the Business Council of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, two important organizations not traditionally active in housing issues.

At lunch, HUD Deputy Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson delivered the keynote address, described by one participant as a "stem-winder." He pledged HUD's and his personal help in removing any and all barriers to homeownership. If anyone has a positive proposal that is "not immoral or illegal, let's do it!"

The conference was the kickoff for an initiative that already has regional and trade association meetings planned throughout the state. These events will be featured, along with other important housing events, on HUD's Alabama web calendar. The Alabama HUD office was, and will continue to be, actively involved in Senator Session's Homeownership Initiative.


Content Archived: July 11, 2011