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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-74
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeFebruary 16, 1998


OCEANSIDE, CA - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and Oceanside, CA Mayor Dick Lyon today announced that two police officers have purchased homes in Oceanside and Vista at 50 percent discounts under HUD's Officer Next Door urban revitalization program.

Officer Tom Wayer of the Oceanside Police Department bought a home in Vista and Patrolman Kevin Macon of the San Diego Police Department bought a home in Oceanside to become the newest participants in the nationwide HUD program, which is designed to help at least 1,000 police officers around the country become homeowners in economically distressed neighborhoods.

"When we cut the price of homes for police officers to help them become homeowners in areas in need of revitalization, we help transform the communities into thriving neighborhoods," Cuomo said. "We cut crime, attract new businesses that create jobs, and attract new residents."

"The Officer Next Door Program is a real example of synergy and government at its best that puts an officer in a community he knows, provides area kids with a positive role model, utilizes available housing stock and makes neighborhoods feel good about themselves," Mayor Lyon said.

President Clinton unveiled the Officer Next Door program in June as part of his second-term urban agenda. The one-year pilot program began offering homes to officers in August. HUD sells homes it has acquired through foreclosure on defaulted mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of HUD. Officers can buy the homes at 50 percent off the price set by the FHA.

The Officer Next Door program is funded through FHA insurance premium earnings.

"This wise investment is one of a series of Clinton Administration initiatives that will bring new opportunities for growth to our nation's neighborhoods," said Cuomo, who began a four-day visit to Southern California today to see HUD programs in action and to meet with local mayors and others to learn more about communities in the region.

Each officer participating in the Officer Next Door program signs a contract agreeing to live in the home for at least three years. Qualifying officers receiving an FHA-insured mortgage can buy homes with a downpayment of as little as $100. Officers can also receive home improvement loans guaranteed by HUD.

"The Officer Next Door program has allowed me the opportunity to own my first home," Patrolman Macon said.

"It is nice to see a program that promotes the growth and stability of cities," said Officer Wayer. "Thanks to this program, I am able to be a homeowner."

A total of 89 police officers in California -- including 28 in San Diego County -- have purchased homes through the Officer Next Door program. Throughout the rest of the country, almost 500 officers have become homeowners in the program since August.

The Officer Next Door initiative is part of the National Homeownership Strategy launched by President Clinton in 1995. The strategy brings all levels of government, the housing industry, lenders and non-profit groups together to increase the national homeownership rate.

The nation's homeownership rate hit 65.7 percent in 1997 - the highest annual rate in American history. The previous all-time annual high was 65.6 percent, set in 1980. A total of 67.1 million American families owned their homes in 1997 - over 5 million more than when President Clinton took office.

HUD has established a toll-free number for police officers interested in participating in the program. It is: 1-800-217-6970. HUD offices around the country are contacting local police departments and groups to give them information about buying HUD-owned homes under the program.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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