HUD Archives: News Releases
HUD No. 02-076
Sonia Colin, (202) 708-0685
July 23, 2002
MARTINEZ HIGHLIGHTS BUSH INITIATIVES TO EXPAND HOMEOWNERSHIP
Holds Bilingual Town Hall Meeting with La Raza in Miami
MIAMI - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez discussed
today the Bush Administration's initiatives aimed at helping more low-income,
minority families achieve the American dream of homeownership.
Martinez spoke at a bilingual town hall meeting organized by HUD, Fannie Mae,
Freddie Mac and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Martinez told prospective
homebuyers and housing industry representatives that President Bush's fiscal
2003 budget request for HUD included programs to help overcome the most common
barriers encountered by minority families seeking to purchase their first home,
such as downpayment assistance and high closing costs.
Martinez spoke at the town hall meeting, organized as part of NCLR's annual
conference. Cristina Saralegui, host of her own program on the Univision network,
joined Martinez for the forum.
"Owning a home is the cornerstone of the American Dream and the American
Dream should be more than just a dream for America's minorities," Martinez
said. "President Bush set an ambitious goal to increase the number of minority
homeowners by 5.5 million by the year 2010. The Bush Administration remains
committed to raising the minority homeownership rate because homeownership strengthens
families and communities, and is critical to the country's economic health."
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,
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. Information regarding homeownership initiatives
and helpful tips about owning a home can be found on HUD's Homeownership
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.
Martinez also noted that HUD has released and translated into Spanish 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.
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 at www.hud.gov.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010