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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 02-071
Andrew L. Lluberes
(202) 708-0685
For Release
June 24, 2002

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, population.

"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 economic health."

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 their communities.

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

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