Dale Gray, Public Affairs Officer
400 State Ave., Kansas City, KS 66101-2406
Phone/Fax (913) 551-5542/(913) 551-5469
July 15, 2003
HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY MICHAEL LIU JOINS MAYOR MARINOVICH TO PRESENT 41-YEAR RESIDENT OF PUBLIC HOUSING KEY TO HOMEOWNERSHIP
KANSAS CITY, KS - Ethel Coleman is the proud homeowner of
a home at 1200
Everett Kansas City, Kansas. After 41 years as a public housing resident, her life long dream to own her own home has come true. Today, US Department of Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, Michael Liu joined Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Carol Marinovich and local housing industry representatives at a ceremony that recognized Mrs. Coleman's achievement.
"The Bush Administration and HUD Secretary Mel Martinez are leading
the way to promote homeownership opportunities that will increase
homeownership by 5.5 million by the year 2010, especially for minorities,"
said Liu, outside Mrs. Coleman's new home in the Northeast area
of Kansas City, KS. "With Mrs. Coleman's courage and perseverance,
her dream of homeownership has become a reality."
Coleman, who raised six children in her three-bedroom unit at Juniper Gardens, is using her Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher towards a monthly mortgage payment instead of rent. The Kansas City, Kansas Housing Authority is the first housing authority in the metro area to implement a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program and Mrs. Coleman is its first participant.
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program is a HUD initiative to increase homeownership opportunities among hard-working low income families and individuals. It is designed to help first-time homeowners with their monthly homeownership expenses. While public housing authorities are encouraged by HUD to develop and implement a homeownership program, they are not required to do so. Currently, there are approximately 350 public housing agencies nationally participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership program and about 1,200 families have purchased homes utilizing this program.
Coleman, who is employed as a day care teacher with the Salvation
Army Day Care Center, also qualified for the City's Community Housing
Investment Program (CHIP), an 80/20 program providing downpayment
assistance and closing costs for those who qualify. The funding
for the CHIP program comes from annual allocations to the City through
HUD's HOME Investment Partnership Program; a program that provides
funding to local jurisdictions for downpayment and closing costs,
as well as the costs of acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction.
In addition, Mrs. Coleman was required to participate in an intensive
homebuyer education class prior
to buying her home. When the opportunity to buy the historical "Haley House" arose, Coleman was ready and eager
to buy the home and realize her life-long dream.
The "Haley House" was owned by Georgia Haley, cousin to Alex and Georege Haley, Roots author and former US Ambassador to Gambia respectively. Alex Haley spent many childhood summers at this home and the stories told and remembered from these visits were the basis for Mr. Haley's book Roots. For this reason, the home's sentimental value, as well as historical importance, is shared by the entire community.
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, including new and existing homeownership initiatives, is available on the Internet.