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Alex Sachs 202/708-0685 Ext. 111Tuesday,
Bill Connelly 202/708-0685 Ext. 115October 22, 1996


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. homeownership rate for the 3rd quarter of 1996 climbed to 65.6 percent of all households, continuing the longest uninterrupted expansion of homeownership in 30 years and reaching the highest quarterly rate in 15 years, the Clinton Administration announced today.

That rise also means a record 66.3 million American households now own their own homes. Since President Clinton entered office, 4.5 million new homeowners have been created.

"The 3rd quarter rate is just two-tenths of a point below the all-time quarterly record of 65.8 percent," said Housing Secretary Henry G. Cisneros. "We are in the midst of an unprecedented period of growth in homeownership. Because of the strong economy, millions of Americans are achieving their dreams, buying homes, and fueling greater growth in the economy, from construction jobs to increased sales of building supplies, appliances and home furnishings."

Dr. Laura D'Andrea Tyson, the President's National Economic Advisor, said, "This is more evidence that confirms the wisdom of the President's economic policies. The President's economic plan is working for more and more Americans every day: 10.5 million new jobs, rising incomes, and low interest rates have helped bring the American dream of homeownership to millions of new homeowners."

Cisneros also announced additional steps HUD will be taking to raise the homeownership rate including:

  • Doubling the number of local homeownership partnerships by the anniversary of the President's recognition of the National Partners (June 5, 1997) to reach thousands more prospective homeowners in every state and community.

  • Creation of an interactive site on the Internet web for women to gain information on how to become homeowners. More than 100 homeownership counseling agencies nationwide are participating in this new worldwide web site, ready to provide customized advice and assistance to women who are interested in owning their own home.

  • Providing multilingual, multicultural homeownership education in several different languages targeted to recent immigrants and minorities. HUD will conduct homeownership education seminars in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and other cities.

Also, the Congress of National Black Churches will enroll 2,500 African-American families to participate in 100 homeownership education courses conducted nationwide.

  • Awarding, in December, the first round of Homeownership Zones -- extensive tracts of affordable urban housing -- in our nation's communities. In January, HUD will initiate a nationwide grants competition for the second round of Zones.

  • Hosting, on November 19th, a national meeting on making homebuilding and homeownership more affordable by cutting red tape and reducing discrimination, and other barriers.

Cisneros said that the homeownership rate has been rising at a faster pace than that required to achieve President Clinton's goal of a 67.5 percent homeownership rate by the end of the year 2000. This goal is part of the President's National Homeownership Strategy which aims to create 8 million more homeowners and to enhance homeownership opportunities for young families, women, minorities, immigrants and other traditionally underserved groups.

Cisneros said that the new homeownership rates are evidence that the President's deficit reduction plan, a strong economy, low interest rates and the National Homeownership Strategy are working. A 58-member coalition, the National Partners in Homeownership, including the housing, real estate and mortgage banking industries, non-profit community groups and governmental entities, is working to help Clinton's strategy succeed.

The partners and HUD have launched initiatives to make buying a home more affordable, faster and easier. Partners are creating targeted loan programs that offer lower down payments and closing costs. The secondary mortgage markets are introducing new technology and simplification in loan underwriting. And the homebuilding industry is working to lower the costs of housing.

The Clinton Administration has helped thousands of Americans buy homes by reducing closing costs on Federal Housing Administration loans by up to $1,000 and cutting the time needed to process FHA insurance certificates from two months to two days.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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