August 29, 2002
MARTINEZ HIGHLIGHTS PRESIDENT BUSH'S INITIATIVE TO EXPAND HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Public-Private Partnerships Increase Homeownership for Low-Income Families
DENVER - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today joined several elected
officials and executives from Fannie Mae to announce a new $35 billion investment plan,
sponsored by Fannie Mae. The plan,
The American Dream CommitmentSM for Colorado, will provide affordable homeownership and rental opportunities
for over 200,000 individuals and families in Colorado through 2007.
"The Bush Administration is committed to creating 5.5 million new homeowners by the end of the decade," Martinez said. "Today's announcement is another step towards helping more Colorado families realize the American Dream of homeownership."
Martinez made his comments after touring The Point, a development located in a HUD-designated
in Denver's Five Points neighborhood. The Point is comprised of 35 rental units and 33 for-sale units, a substantial portion of which is available as an affordable option for households whose income falls well below the area median. There is also 12,800 square feet of commercial space, a key factor in spurring economic development in the neighborhood.
HUD invested $1,235,000 in Community Development Block Grants and $641,450 in HOME grants to help
the City of Denver develop The Point. Other major investors include the Colorado Division of
Housing, the Mercy Loan Fund,
U.S. Bank and Bank One.
"The Point is a great example of federal, state and local partnerships," said Colorado Senator Wayne Allard. "I will continue to work with Secretary Martinez, Fannie Mae and local communities to produce more affordable housing opportunities."
Also on hand at the development were several elected officials, including U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette and Tom Tancredo and Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. Representing the developers of The Point was Ray Stranske, executive director of Hope Communities, and Marva Coleman, executive director of the Five Points Business Association.
In his remarks, Martinez highlighted the Bush Administration's initiatives designed to break down
the barriers to minority homeownership. These include: 1) the American Dream Downpayment Fund,
aimed at helping 40,000
families each year with down payment cost; 2) a single-family tax credit, designed to increase the supply of affordable homes; and 3) a housing counseling program to help families through the homebuying process and to educate them against unscrupulous lenders.
First awarded in 1974, CDBG funds enable state and local governments to target their own economic development priorities. Although the rehabilitation of affordable housing has traditionally been the largest single use of the grants, the program is also an increasingly important catalyst for economic development activities that expand job and business opportunities for lower income families and neighborhoods.
HOME (Home Investment Partnerships Program) is the largest federal block grant to state and local
governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Since
1992, more than a half million affordable housing units have been acquired, constructed or
rehabilitated and nearly 70,000 tenants have received direct rental assistance. In addition,
more than 200,000 new homebuyers have received assistance to purchase
their first homes through the HOME program.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among
minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the
homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also
promotes economic and community development as well as
enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.