HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 05-0202
Matthew Stewart
(904) 232-2627
For Release
February 2, 2005

HUD grants support Habitat for Humanity International's work

JACKSONVILLE - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Jacksonville Field Office Director J. Nicholas Shelley, joined Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, officials of Habitat for Humanity International, their local affiliate - HabiJax, along with Jacksonville Jaguar owners Wayne and Delores Weaver, and members of Jacksonville's SuperBowl Host Committee, to celebrate the culmination of SuperBUILD XXXIX. NFL players joined with local volunteers to build thirty-nine homes in thirty-nine days for local low-income working families. NFL players helped move a HabiJax family into their new home at 916 West 24th Street.

Mr. Shelley remarked that, "Helping more Americans become homeowners is central to our mission at HUD," and continued, "we can not do this alone and support of partners like Habitat for Humanity, as well as the National Football League on this occasion of the "SuperBUILD"...39 homes in 39 a great accomplishment." He further added, "Where homeownership flourishes, neighborhoods are more stable, residents are more civic-minded, schools
are better, and crime rates decline."

Since its inception, HabiJax has built over 1,200 homes for low-income working families of Duval County and the dynamic collaboration between the City of Jacksonville, HabiJax, the Jacksonville Housing Authority, and HUD, have been instrumental in providing homeownership opportunities for more than 400 working residents of Jacksonville's public housing community alone.

This Super Bowl-related event comes a week after the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing that a new
national homeownership record was set in 2004, and the new annual rate of 69.0 percent (or 74.4 million families) surpasses the previous record of 68.3 set in 2003. Minority homeownership also set records with an annual rate of 51.0 percent set in 2004, indicating that there are now 15,504,000 minority homeowners in the United States.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said, "These numbers show that housing is still leading the way in our rapidly recovering economy. President Bush is committed to building on these accomplishments so
that people from every walk of life can have the opportunity to become homeowners," and added, "The President's housing initiatives are breaking down the barriers and paving the way for more Americans, particularly minorities, to achieve that dream."

Two years ago, the President challenged the nation to create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of
this decade and issued "America's Homeownership Challenge," - a call to the real estate and mortgage finance industries to work in partnership to help achieve this goal. Between the second quarter of 2002 (the start of the President's Initiative) and the fourth quarter of 2004, there has been a net increase of 2.2 million minority homeowners.

In 2005, the Administration will propose legislation that would further boost homeownership by creating a Zero Downpayment Mortgage option in FHA. HUD will also ask Congress to enact a Homeownership Tax Credit that will encourage the production of homes for moderate-income families.

HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) is a significant source of funding for Habitat for Humanity International and their emphasis on the power of volunteerism, the experience of tradesmen and the hard work of applicants themselves to increase homeownership.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and 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 and


Content Archived: March 15, 2011