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Aylin Gonen (202)708-0685 ext. 119 Thursday,
Bill Connelly (202)708-0685 ext. 115 February 8, 1996

HUD Announces Sharpest Rise in Homeownership Rate in at least 30 Years
Highest Homeownership Rate since 1981;
Over 1.4 Million New Homeowners Added in 1995

WASHINGTON--HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros said today that the Clinton Administration's economic policies, lower interest rates, and a public-private partnership with the housing industry helped more than 1.4 million more Americans become homeowners in 1995.

The national homeownership rate rose to 65.1 percent in the final quarter of 1995, the highest rate since 1981, from a rate of 64.2 percent at the end of 1994. The gain of nearly 1 percent represents the sharpest increase in the rate in at least 30 years.

Cisneros said this surge in homeownership bodes well for the success of President Clinton's National Homeownership Strategy, which is seeking to add up to 8 million more families to the homeownership rolls by the end of the year 2000.

"The dramatic increase in the homeownership rate is evidence of a strong economy and the desire for families to invest their hard earned money in a home," said Cisneros.

Cisneros said that the percentage changes from the 4th quarter of 1994 compared to the 4th quarter of 1995 were among the most dramatic. The homeownership rate for minorities rose from 43.7 percent to 44.3 percent. For households under the age of 35, the number of homeowners has increased from 57.1 percent to 57.9 percent. For households with less than median family income the homeownership rate rose from 48.6 percent to 49.4 percent.

President Clinton launched the National Homeownership Strategy in November, 1994. He directed Cisneros to form the "National Partners in Homeownership," in which 56 major housing and finance industry groups are now working with government and nonprofit organizations to reduce barriers to homeownership.

On June 5, 1995, President Clinton, Vice President Gore and Secretary Cisneros were joined by the Partners at the White House to announce a plan recommending 100 proposed collaborative actions to increase homeownership. The goals of the strategy include:
  • Cutting the costs of homeownership (including financing, production and transaction costs and fees), making financing more available, and simplifying the homebuying process.

  • Opening markets for homeownership to increase choice and remove discriminatory and regulatory barriers, making homes, financing, and insurance available and affordable for more households.

  • Encouraging homeownership for millions of additional families through education and counseling, information technology, communications media, and community involvement.

Considerable Work Implementing the National Homeownership Strategy Is under Way:

Housing production costs are being reduced

  • A new initiative involving the National Association of Home Builders, HUD, Manufactured Housing Institute, Fannie Mae and many other Partnership members will accelerate technology improvements in the construction of single family homes.

  • The American Planning Association, U.S Conference of Mayors, HUD, and others are developing "Growing Smart", a model for new enabling laws which state and local governments can use to reform zoning requirements.

  • A national summit is being organized to explore the wider use of manufactured housing as an affordable alternative. The meeting will include more than 20 Partnership organizations, state and local planners, and manufactured housing producers.

Acquiring a mortgage will become easier

  • Downpayment assistance is being provided and increased savings encouraged through aggressive new efforts by the Federal Home Loan Bank System, HUD, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation and other partners.

  • Mortgage credit in rural communities is being enhanced through innovative new uses of the USDA's Rural Housing Service 502 Program with Fannie Mae, a new initiative called Rural LISC, involving the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and other partners, and a new Partnership demonstration led by Habitat for Humanity International.

  • More effective homeownership counseling for first-time home buyers is now available because of recent efforts by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Revinvestment Corporation, American Bankers Association, National Foundation for Consumer Credit, Mortgage Bankers Association and HUD.

Local homeownership efforts are being supported

  • The Washington, D.C.-based Partnership will seek to strengthen local homeownership activities. The Partnership has started a campaign to provide technical support to local homeownership partnerships.

  • Plans for new publications, homeownership training opportunities, outreach campaigns and an internet site are being developed to help local homeownership providers do their jobs more effectively.


Content Archived: April 9, 2010

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