HUD Archives: News Releases
HUD No. 02-066
June 19, 2002
Martinez Highlights President Bush's Initiative to Expand Homeownership Opportunities
HUD Section 8 Homeownership Initiative Combined with Local Public-Private
Partnerships Increases Homeownership for Low-Income Families
CHICAGO - Four years ago Crystal Mack, a single mother of five, began a Chicago
Housing Authority self-sufficiency program. One of her goals was to buy a house,
and Mack will soon reach that goal with the help of HUD's Section 8 homeownership
program, which allows families to use vouchers to assist with monthly mortgage
As the Department of Housing and Urban Development celebrates National Homeownership
Month, Mack and other families throughout America are becoming first-time homeowners
by combining local self-sufficiency programs with HUD's Section 8 Homeownership
"Earlier this week, the President set a goal to help increase the number
of minority homeowners by 5.5 million by the year 2010," said HUD Secretary
Mel Martinez today while visiting Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. "To reach
that goal, we will need strong public-private partnerships similar to this one
that has helped Crystal achieve her dream."
Secretary Martinez also highlighted other Bush Administration initiatives
that the President announced earlier this week, which will include: 1) the American
Dream Downpayment Fund, aimed at helping 40,000 families each year with down
payment cost, including 1,526 eligible families in Illinois; 2) a single-family
tax credit; 3) a housing counseling program to help families through the home
buying process and to educate them against unscrupulous lenders.
Mack signed up for CHA's Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) in 1998 and
set three goals - finish college, find a full-time job and buy a house. The
FSS program is another HUD initiative, administered by local housing authorities,
that encourages communities to develop local strategies that help families get
jobs ultimately leading to economic independence and self-sufficiency.
After reaching her first two goals - a college degree and a job - Mack knew
she had the tools it takes to become a homeowner. "Choose to Own,"
a new citywide initiative administered by CHAC, Inc., the CHA's housing voucher
affiliate, helped Mack with credit counseling and homebuyer training - essentially
walking her through the home buying process.
"Now I am in the process of achieving my final goal of purchasing a home,"
said Mack. "Being a homeowner means stability for my children - a place
to grow up and call their own, to have birthday parties and enjoy other cherished
memories that comes with homeownership."
The Section 8 Homeownership Initiative is designed to promote and support first-time
homebuyers. Under this initiative, public housing authorities (PHA's) make monthly
homeownership assistance payments to help first-time homeowners with monthly
expenses, instead of making monthly payments on behalf of families to assist
with rent. Monthly expenses include the principal and interest on the mortgage
debt, real estate taxes and insurance, and the PHA established allowances for
utilities, routine maintenance, and major repairs and replacements.
The amount of the Section 8 voucher subsidy is the same under the homeownership
option as it would be if the family used the voucher for rental assistance.
Both the homeownership and rental programs require that the family pays 30 percent
of monthly adjusted income or the PHA established "minimum rent" toward
their homeownership expenses.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly
among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans,
supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living
with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as
well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD
and its programs is available on the Internet.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010