HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 04-060IL
Anne Scherrieb
(312) 353-6236 ext. 2666
For Release
August 5, 2004

Innovative pilot program designed to encourage housing counseling nationwide

CHICAGO - One lucky Chicago family will become the owner of the three-bedroom house at 1418 West 77th Street through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) innovative partnership initiative
HOMEWISE. HUD, in cooperation with the National Housing Endowment, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage hopes to encourage housing counseling nationwide by offering an
opportunity to share in the American Dream of homeownership

Because the Bush Administration believes strongly in the power of homeownership to transform lives and wants
every family to have the opportunity to own a home, HUD Assistant Secretary Cathy MacFarlane and HUD Midwest Regional Director Joseph Galvan joined with HUD's HOMEWISE partners today to announce this opportunity.

Under the pilot program, the National Housing Endowment will purchase HUD homes in Chicago and nine other cities across the country and will work with a local NAHB-affiliated homebuilder to fully renovate each property using in-
kind donations of labor and materials as well as $100,000 in donated funds each from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"The President is committed to increasing homeownership and creating new homebuying opportunities for lower-income households," said HUD Assistant Secretary MacFarlane. "This pilot program will help accomplish his goal of creating 5.5-million new homeowners by the end of the decade while also promoting the value of homeownership counseling."

"The President is committed to increasing homeownership and creating new homebuying opportunities for lower-income households," said HUD Assistant Secretary MacFarlane. "This pilot program will help accomplish his goal of creating 5.5-million new homeowners by the end of the decade while also promoting the value of homeownership counseling."

According to Regional Director Galvan, "HUD is using the HOMEWISE Program to illustrate the importance of homeownership counseling. Homeownership education plays a vital role in helping people through what can
sometimes be an overwhelming home-buying process. Housing counseling gives people the tools and confidence
to make the American Dream come true."

"We are dedicated to making this renovation a reality," said Dan Griffin, president of the HBAGC's Remodelors
Council. "Our Council members believe the HOMEWISE Program presents an effective educational opportunity that
can eventually lead many lower-income families to homeownership."

"Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is proud to have been selected to work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and its partners on the President's HOMEWISE initiative to increase homeownership in America," said
Jim Linnane, regional sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. "We are looking forward to bringing our
expertise as one of Chicago's top FHA lenders and a leading provider of home loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers to the HOMEWISE program, which creatively addresses key barriers to homeownership facing lower-
income families in Chicago."

"HUD and Fannie Mae share a long history of partnering on initiatives to expand the American Dream of Homeownership," stated Terry Young, director of Fannie Mae Illinois Partnership Office. "The HOMEWISE program represents just the latest in that series, and thoroughly demonstrates our organization's commitment to making
sure that this dream becomes a reality for as many Chicago area families as possible."

"Freddie Mac is pleased to work with Secretary Jackson, NAHB, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and help launch
this unique affordable homeownership opportunity," said John Thomason, Freddie Mac.

Eligible buyers in Chicago must be first-time homebuyers who have completed an approved housing counseling
course and earn less $55,680. The application period will continue through August. Those interested in applying for this program can find information and an application on the HUD website or call 1-888-297-8685.

Completed applications must be delivered to a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency, such as the Chicago
Urban League Development Corporation, the Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA), or Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago-Auburn Gresham/Englewood. After applicants are screened, a list of those who meet
the criteria will be forwarded to local officials who will make the final selection by a random process.

To make the property more affordable to the lucky Chicago family, they will qualify for a 15-year, zero (0) downpayment and zero (0%) interest rate mortgage on the property, with payments to be based on one-half of the home's appraised value. They will also be required to sign a lien representing the balance of the appraised value, which will be forgiven if the buyer remains in the home and makes timely payments for five years.

"While the nation's homeownership rate is at an all-time high, just below 70 percent, minority homeownership rates still fall short of that," said HUD's MacFarlane. "Creative efforts like HOMEWISE will help reduce that gap."

John G. Markowski, Commissioner, Department of Housing, City of Chicago, who welcomed the HUD initiative to Chicago said "Like HUD, the Department of Housing is committed to the goal of homeownership. We are also committed to preparing people for homeownership and that is why this program is so important. This house
represents a unique opportunity to showcase the many homeownership counseling programs that are offered for prospective homeowners."

In addition to Chicago, the other pilot HOMEWISE sites are Detroit MI, Minneapolis MN, St. Louis MO, Kansas City
MO, Atlanta GA Miami FL, Philadelphia PA and Columbus OH and Seattle WA where the applicants must be service-disabled veterans

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

About NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing
more than 215,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as "the voice of the housing industry," NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent
of the more than 1.77 million new housing units projected for 2004, making housing one of the largest engines of economic growth in the country. The mission of the Remodelors Council of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago, which is based in Lombard, is to enlighten the public as to the need for and the advantages of maintaining homes in good condition; and to encourage ethical conduct and uniform practices among firms in the remodeling industry.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a leading originator and servicer of residential mortgages. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., is based in Des Moines, Iowa, and is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). Wells Fargo Home Mortgage serves all 50 states through the leading mortgage lending network in the country, with a presence in more than 1,900 mortgage and Wells Fargo bank stores and on the Internet. Combined, its retail and wholesale lending operations provided funding for approximately one of every
eight homes financed in the United States in 2003.

Fannie Mae is a New York Stock Exchange company and the largest non-bank financial services company in the world. It operates pursuant to a federal charter and is the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages. Since 1968, Fannie Mae has provided $6 trillion of mortgage financing for more than 60 million families.

Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation established by Congress in 1970 to support homeownership and rental housing. Freddie Mac purchases single-family and multifamily residential mortgages and mortgage-related securities, which it finances primarily by issuing mortgage passthrough securities and debt instruments in the capital markets. Over the years, Freddie Mac has opened doors for one in six homebuyers and more than two million renters
in America.


Content Archived: March 15, 2011