|HUD No. 06-44
Michele Bernier (716) 551-5755 ext. 5507
Adam Glantz (212) 264-1100
June 19, 2006
HUD DEPUTY SECRETARY ROY BERNARDI MAKES THE 'AMERICAN DREAM' COME TRUE FOR ONE AMHERST FAMILY
BUFFALO, NY - June is National Homeownership Month. To recognize the deep impact homeownership is making in Buffalo-area neighborhoods, Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi today joined
Amherst Town Supervisor Dr. Satish Mohan to celebrate the completion of a newly constructed, single-family home and the selection of its first-time homebuyer.
Mr. John Vrenna, who is 29 years old, single and works in the Receiving Department at HMX Tailored (M. Wile & Co.), was selected from a lottery of four eligible applicants. Mr. Vrenna's new ranch-style home features three bedrooms, one bath and a first-floor laundry room.
"This is what the 'American Dream' is all about," said Bernardi. "Today, we are witnessing one dream come true but we're also seeing how lives and entire neighborhoods can be transformed by the promise of homeownership."
"Home ownership is the most important indicator of the prosperity of Americans and leads to higher productivity at work," said Supervisor Mohan. "The Town of Amherst appreciates the help of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for their assistance in empowering more families to own their homes."
The house, located at 351 N. Westfield Road in the Eggertsville section of Amherst, was acquired through HUD's
Home Sales program in April, 2005. The formerly HUD-owned home was then transferred to the non-profit housing organization New Opportunities Community Housing Development Corporation for $1. Since 1998, more than $1
million in HUD funding has helped the Town of Amherst to acquire, rehabilitate and build single-family homes in the Eggertsville section of Amherst. This home in Amherst represents and celebrates the 95th first-time homeowner and home made available through a consortium of three local municipalities; Amherst, Cheektowaga and Tonawanda. Through the use of HUD's HOME program, American Dream Downpayment Initiative funds, and Community
Development Block Grant funds for housing counseling the consortium continues to create first-time homeowners
in first-ring suburban neighborhoods.
President Bush declared June National Homeownership Month. Today, more Americans own their own home than
ever before with a national homeownership rate near a record high of 68.5 percent. For the first time in the nation's history, half of all minority families are homeowners. Still, the President and HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson recognize there is work to be done to make sure homeownership is accessible to everyone.
At homeownership fairs and other events planned throughout June, Jackson and other HUD officials will meet with prospective homebuyers and provide them with information to determine if homeownership is right for them. They
will also discuss the role homeownership plays in helping families build wealth and strengthen their communities.
For a complete listing of homeownership events around the country, visit HUD's website.
More Americans own their own home than ever before. The national homeownership rate is at a near record high
of 68.5 percent and half of minority families are homeowners. Still, the President and Secretary Jackson recognize there is work to be done to make sure homeownership is accessible to everyone. Since President Bush challenged
the nation in June 2002 to close the minority homeownership gap and create 5.5 million new minority homeowners
by 2010, the Census Bureau reports that more than 2.5 million minority families have already taken out a mortgage
on a new home.
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 espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.