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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 02-097
(202) 708-0685
For Release
August 28, 2002


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez and Congressman Felix Grucci (R-NY) today toured the Long Island Housing Partnership's (LIHP) South Country Estates to highlight the Bush Administration's commitment to expanding homeownership opportunities.

Martinez and Grucci toured the home of Aida Alvarez, a new homeowner. Alvarez purchased her home in September 2001 with help from the LIHP, the nation's first non-profit, public-private housing development company based solely in the suburbs.

"The Bush Administration is committed to creating 5.5 million new homeowners by the end of the decade," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez. "LIHP's South Country Estates is a good example of a public-private partnership that offers affordable housing to low and moderate income Americans, making the dream of homeownership a reality for more people like Mrs. Alvarez."

South Country Estates is a 19-unit affordable housing development that received $543,800 in HUD HOME (Home Investment Partnerships Program) funding to reduce the cost of the homes, making each home available for purchase for under $84,000. HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.

Since 1992, more than half million affordable housing units have been acquired, constructed or rehabilitated, and nearly 70,000 tenants have received direct rental assistance. In addition, more than 200,000 new homebuyers have received assistance to purchase their first homes through the HOME program.

"Owning a home is the cornerstone of the American Dream but the federal government cannot do it alone," said Grucci. "This public and private partnership in Suffolk County is a wonderful example of how communities benefit when the private and public sectors work together."

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.



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