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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 02-074
(202) 708-0685
For Release
July 9, 2002

Martinez Promotes National Campaign to Educate Americans about the Homebuying Process

WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today joined executives from the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage company and the American Library Association to announce a national education campaign, "The Path to Homeownership Begins @ your library™," designed to help increase minority homeownership among low and moderate income Americans.

"Last month, President Bush announced 'America's Homeownership Challenge' and set a goal to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million by the year 2010," said Martinez. "Today's event with Wells Fargo and the American Library Association is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to reach this goal."

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and the American Library Association partnership are designed to provide libraries nationwide with information to help educate potential homeowners about financial decisions related to the homebuying process.

The partnership follows the Bush Administration's announcement of "America's Homeownership Challenge" - a call to action by President Bush to tear down the barriers to homeownership that face minority families. In June, the President issued the challenge to the real estate and mortgage finance industries to join in his efforts to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million families by the end of the decade.

Wells Fargo and the American Library Association will provide grants to libraries in eight cities with a high concentration of low- to middle-income families and minorities. The participating libraries will host free seminars where homebuyers can learn about the homebuying and mortgage lending process. The cities include Atlanta, Boston, Ft. Worth, Houston, Phoenix, Queens (borough of NYC), San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

During today's event at the Mt. Pleasant Library in Washington, D.C., Martinez highlighted the Bush Administration's homeownership initiatives including: 1) the American Dream Downpayment Fund, aimed at helping 40,000 families each year with down payment cost; 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 homebuying process and to educate them against unscrupulous lenders.

In addition, Martinez recently unveiled HUD's Homebuyer Bill of Rights and announced steps to make buying a home less complicated and less expensive. The proposal is designed to ensure that consumers know up front exactly how much their home loan is going to cost and how much is needed at the time of settlement. This reform will enable more Americans to become homeowners by ultimately reducing the closing costs.

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 www.hud.gov.



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