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CUOMO ANNOUNCES INITIATIVES TO BOOST HOMEOWNERSHIP AND CREATE 2 MILLION NEW URBAN HOMEOWNERS BY YEAR 2000WASHINGTON -- Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced a series of initiatives to boost homeownership across the nation. He set a goal of creating 2 million new homeowners in America's cities by the year 2000 -- boosting the urban homeownership rate above 50 percent. Cuomo said the measures include:
Through the efforts of the Clinton Administration and the National Partners in Homeownership, the nation's homeownership rate has grown to 65.4 percent -- the highest since 1980.
"Unfortunately, there is a huge gap between homeownership in cities and suburbs," Cuomo said. "While 72.1 percent of suburban families own their homes, only 49.4 percent of families in cities are homeowners. We must narrow this gap. As a first step, I'm setting a goal of creating 2 million new urban homeowners by the year 2000, to push the urban homeownership rate past 50 percent."
"Increasing homeownership will benefit families because homeownership is the best way for them to build wealth and build better lives for their children," Cuomo said. "Urban neighborhoods will be revitalized as increased homeownership stimulates city economies, strengthens the urban tax base and brings greater stability."
Cuomo called on the National Partners in Homeownership -- a coalition of 63 national groups representing the housing industry, lenders, non-profit groups and all sectors of government -- to work together to achieve the new urban homeownership goal.
Cuomo's announcement came during National Homeownership Week, a nationwide campaign celebrating homeownership and marking the historic strides made since President Clinton challenged HUD in 1994 to devise a strategy for boosting homeownership to an all-time high of 67.5 percent by the year 2000.
Throughout Homeownership Week, industry and community leaders, and federal, state and local officials have been participating in nearly 600 events in more than 300 cities in every state, promoting homeownership opportunities.
Here are additional details on the initiatives Cuomo announced:
HUD will use an additional $10 million in grants to cities to create new Homeownership Zones. These large-scale single-family housing developments can spur millions of dollars of additional local investment, helping to reinvigorate the nation's cities. Earlier this year, HUD awarded $30 million in Homeownership Zone grants to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Louisville, Sacramento, Buffalo, and Cleveland.
Ginnie Mae will increase its Targeted Lending Initiative commitment by $1 billion and introduce a new mortgage loan pre- qualification software program for future homebuyers. The increased lending will help create approximately 15,000 new urban homeowners.
HUD will propose legislation that would amend the Section 108 Loan Guarantee provision of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to substantially increase the opportunity to use that program to promote homeownership.