HUD Archives: News Releases
HUD No. 02-071
Andrew L. Lluberes
June 24, 2002
MARTINEZ HIGHLIGHTS PRESIDENT BUSH'S INITIATIVE TO EXPAND HOMEOWNERSHIP
Holds Bilingual Town Hall Meeting at Church in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez
said today at a "Houses Without Barriers" bilingual town hall meeting
that more Americans, particularly minorities, should have the opportunity to
share in the American Dream of homeownership.
At the town hall meeting, organized by HUD, Fannie Mae and the Homeownership
Alliance, Martinez told prospective homebuyers that President Bush's fiscal
2003 budget request for HUD included programs to overcome the most common barriers
encountered by minority families seeking to purchase their first home.
Martinez spoke at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church here following a groundbreaking
ceremony in Troy, N.C. He visited the state as part of National Homeownership
Month proclaimed by President Bush earlier this month.
Homeownership among Hispanics nationally stands at 47.3 percent and at 47.7
percent for African-Americans, compared to 74.3 percent for the white, non-Hispanic,
"Last week, President Bush set a goal to help increase the number of minority
homeowners by 5.5 million by the year 2010," Martinez said. "The Bush
Administration is committed to raising the minority homeownership rate because
homeownership strengthens families and communities, and is critical to the country's
To bridge the homeownership gap and achieve the President's goal for minority
families, Martinez cited several Bush Administration initiatives including:
1) the American Dream Downpayment Fund, aimed at helping 40,000 families each
year with down payment cost, the most common barrier to minority homeownership;
2) a tax credit for builders of single-family homes; 3) a housing counseling
program to help families through the home buying process and to educate them
against unscrupulous lenders.
Through his "American Homeownership Challenge," President Bush also
encouraged the public and private sectors to join together in an effort to increase
minority homeownership. Additionally, the Administration is proposing a total
of $2.7 billion in initiatives that will help more than 333,000 low- and moderate-income
families own their own homes.
The Secretary also noted the release of a "how-to guide" to help faith-based
organizations to encourage homeownership opportunities, particularly among minority
families. Ten Things Your
Faith Community Can Do To Encourage Homeownership offers faith-based
grassroots organizations an easy-to-read guide to promoting homeownership in
In Troy earlier, Martinez joined Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) and Mayor Roy Maness
for a groundbreaking at Smitherman Village, a low-to-moderate income single-family
revitalization project located in an ethnically mixed neighborhood. The project
will replace deteriorating rental housing with affordable single-family, stick-built
homes. Funds for the project include a HUD $600,000 Community Development Block
Grant (CDBG) provided to North Carolina, a HUD $478,000 Economic Development
Initiative grant over two years and $130,000 from the City of Troy.
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.
Learn more about how HUD and faith-based and other community organizations
can work more closely on homeownership and neighborhood renewal.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010