HUD Archives: News Releases
HUD No. 02-068|
June 20, 2002
MARTINEZ, VENEMAN TOUT PRESIDENT BUSH'S INITIATIVES
Cabinet Secretaries Meet New Homeowners in Rural Community
TROY, Mo. - The Harris and Hanks families are proof positive that when the public
and private sectors work together, Americans of all backgrounds and income levels
reap the benefits.
With the help of loans from Peoples Bank and the Agriculture
Department, as well as valuable housing counseling from the North East Community
Action Corporation (NECAC), a HUD-certified counseling agent, the Harris' and
Hanks' are now first-time homeowners.
On Thursday, Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) Secretary Mel Martinez and Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ann Veneman met
the families at the Harris' newly constructed Oak Forest Drive residence to congratulate
them on becoming homeowners.
"Owning a home is the cornerstone of
the American Dream," Martinez said. "Earlier this week, the President
set an ambitious goal to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million
by the year 2010. To reach that goal, we need strong public-private partnerships
similar to this one that has helped these families move into their first home."
As HUD celebrates National Homeownership Month, families throughout America are
becoming first-time homeowners with the help of public-private partnerships and
counseling to help them advance through the complicated homebuying process.
"President Bush has put forth a bold initiative to expand homeownership opportunities
throughout America," said Veneman. "Through these type of public-private
partnerships, we are working together to help families in rural America realize
the dream of homeownership."
The Harris family - Richard and Kristina,
and children Blake and Trenton - received a $22,745 loan from Missouri-based Peoples
Bank and a $68,225 loan from the USDA. The Hanks family - single-mom Pamela and
children Timothy, Matthew and Nicholas - received a $23,370 loan from Peoples
and a $70,100 loan from the USDA.
For the Harris', the result of this combined
effort was a 1,008-sq.-foot, three-bedroom home that features a two-car garage
and a basement. The Hanks are the proud owners of a new home right down the street.
HUD released a report earlier this week detailing significant barriers to homeownership,
including many that affect rural communities. Among these obstacles are high down
payment and closing costs, limited supply of affordable housing, and a confusing
and intimidating homebuying process.
While in Troy, Martinez highlighted
the Bush Administration's housing initiatives designed to break down those barriers,
which include: 1) the American Dream Downpayment Fund, aimed at helping 40,000
families each year with down payment cost, including more than 750 eligible families
in Missouri; 2) a single-family tax credit, designed to increase the supply of
affordable homes; and 3) a housing counseling program to help families through
the home buying process and to educate them against unscrupulous lenders.
The President also put forth "America's Homeownership Challenge," a
call to the real estate industry, the mortgage finance industry and non-profits
to join with the administration in expanding homeownership opportunities across
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