HUD Secretary Reaches Out to Minorities

[Photo: Secretary Martinez hosting the Town Hall Meeting.]
From Left to right: Spanish Interpreter, U. S. Representative Robin Hayes, HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, and U. S. Representative Sue Myrick.

North Carolina Town Hall Meeting

On June 24, 2002, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez hosted a bilingual "Houses Without Barriers" Town Hall Meeting at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, to explain President Bush's initiative to expand homeownership among minority families. The Secretary said that more Americans, particularly minorities, should have the opportunity to share in the American Dream of homeownership.

Secretary Martinez cited several Bush Administration initiatives including (1) the American Dream Downpayment Fund, aimed at helping 40,000 families each year with down payment cost, the most common barrier to minority homeownership; (2) a tax credit for builders of single-family homes; and (3) a housing counseling program to help families through the home buying process and to educate them against unscrupulous lenders.

The Secretary also noted the release of a "how-to-guide" to help faith-based organizations to encourage homeownership opportunities, particularly among minority families. Ten Things Your Faith Community Can Do To Encourage Homeownership offers faith-based grassroots organizations an easy-to-read guide to promoting homeownership in their communities.

Featured speakers included U. S. Representative Robin Hayes (R-N.C), Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, and Fannie Mae Senior Vice President Mercy Jimenez. Attendees included HUD Regional Director Jim Chaplin, HUD Field Office Director Deborah C. Holston, representatives from community development corporations, non-profit organizations, and Field Office staff in Office of Counsel, Multifamily Housing, Community Planning and Development, and Field Policy and Management.


Content Archived: July 5, 2011