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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 96-176
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 3, 1996


NEW YORK CITY - HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros today announced a new program to help young couples accumulate a downpayment on their first house through a bridal registry account with a qualified bank.

The Bridal Registry Account allows couples who are getting married to open up a bridal registry savings account with participating Federal Housing Administration approved banks nationwide. Family and friends can then deposit their cash wedding gifts directly into the interest-bearing account.

"This new initiative will provide a great way for a young couple to save for their first home together," said Cisneros. "The homeownership rate for households under the age of 35 is 58.8% while the rate for households nationwide is 65.4%. The bridal registry program can help close the gap."

Cisneros said the Bridal Registry initiative is one of several efforts the Clinton Administration is promoting to raise the homeownership rate among young families, a rate that sharply declined through the 1980s. "This effort will help couples take that first step towards homeownership," he said. "Their friends and family can give the gift of homeownership by participating in this program."

Over 30 lenders nationwide have agreed to participate in the initiative. Participating lenders would set up an interest bearing account and provide information on how the account works to friends and family of the couple.

Consumers may receive more information about the program by calling 1-800-CALLFHA.

"There is a myth that young couples can't afford a home of their own, and many are resigned to renting," said Cisneros. "But in many cases it may be easier than they think. The Clinton Administration is doing all it can to make it possible for more people to buy a home."

One of the newest ways in which the Administration is promoting homeownership is evidenced in a provision in the FY 1997 VA/HUD appropriations bill recently signed by the President. The law allows FHA to consider a loan from a parent to a child as part of the child's downpayment on a home.

Over the past four years, the Administration has taken several steps to make it easier for people to become homeowners:

  • reduced the average closing cost on an FHA-insured loan by $1,000;

  • cut processing time for FHA loans from four to six weeks to two days;

  • established a 1-800 number to answer questions about different FHA loans (1-800-CALLFHA);

  • reduced the required size of escrow accounts saving some consumers as much as $250 at closing;

  • sponsored and held homebuyer education seminars and conferences across the country to educate potential first- timehomebuyers;

  • awarded grants to HUD-approved counseling agencies to help them educate first-time homebuyers; and,

  • reached out to minority and immigrant populations through consumer education.

The National Partners in Homeownership, an alliance of 58 housing industry, non-profit and government groups, was organized in 1994 in response to President Clinton's challenge to raise the national homeownership rate to a record 67.5 percent of all U.S. households - 8 million new homeowners - by the end of the year 2000.

The Partnership works to increase the homeownership rate by reducing the costs of buying and owning a home, simplifying the homebuying process, and expanding opportunities for homeownership to typically underserved communities, including women, African- Americans, Latinos, Asians, and young, first-time homebuying families.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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