HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 03-015
David Sherzer
(202) 708-0685, x 2897

For Release
February 4, 2003


NASHVILLE - Officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development today discussed the Bush Administration's proposed housing budget for fiscal year 2004, highlighting the $113 million increase for the Department's Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) that will help more than 600 states and communities nationwide address the shortages of affordable housing in their jurisdictions.

Speaking at the Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, Southeast Regional Director Brian Noyes touted the additional funding - announced yesterday by HUD Secretary Mel Martinez - as part of the Bush Administration's ongoing effort to increase minority homeownership and encourage the production of affordable housing. Noyes indicated that the budget calls for Tennessee to receive $33,690,000 in HOME funding - a $1,436,000, or 4.5 percent, boost over the previous level.

"The Bush Administration is committed to bridging the homeownership gap between minority and non-minority families," Secretary Martinez said. "This additional funding will provide states and local communities with the resources they need to produce affordable housing and help individuals and families become homeowners."

Noyes joined Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell and National Association of Home Builders President Kent Conine at the church, which is part of a coalition of local nonprofits, builders, bankers and churches brought together by Nashville-based Affordable Housing Resources (AHR) to build affordable housing and provide assistance to low-income families seeking to become homeowners.

"The Bush Administration's initiative to enhance homeownership opportunities for minority families can have a big impact in cities like Nashville, where strong public-private partnerships can take advantage of the President's innovative programs," said Conine. "President Bush and Secretary Martinez want to give these groups more to work with so that they can make homeownership possible for more families in the years to come."

Recent census figures indicate that while nearly 70 percent of all Americans own their own homes, less than half of African-American and Hispanic families are homeowners. Intent on closing this "homeownership gap," President Bush has announced a goal of adding 5.5 million minority homeowners by the end of the decade.

In his remarks, Noyes highlighted elements of the FY 2004 budget proposal that will help achieve this goal:

  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). An estimated $2.2 billion will be provided to state and local governments to finance the costs of land acquisition, construction, rehabilitation and down payment assistance. The following is a state-by-state breakdown of proposed HOME funding for the Southeast:
Actual FY 2002 Appropriation
Fiscal Year 2003 Request
Fiscal Year 2004 Request
North Carolina
South Carolina
Puerto Rico
Virgin Islands
  • American Dream Downpayment Initiative. For the second consecutive year, the President's proposal includes $200 million for the American Dream Downpayment Initiative to help an estimated 40,000 low-income families a year to become first-time homeowners.
  • Housing Counseling. The President's spending plan also includes an additional $10 million to provide counseling services to lower-income Americans who wish to become homeowners or who seek affordable rental housing. The additional funding would bring HUD's Housing Counseling Grant Program to $45 million, more than double the amount appropriated in FY 2002 and will help 250,000 additional individuals and families to find and maintain homes.
  • Single-Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit. To stimulate the production of affordable homes in distressed communities where such housing is scare, the Administration is proposing a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the cost of new construction or rehabilitation. This tax credit targets low-income households earning less than 80 percent of an area's median income.
  • Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). President Bush is proposing $65 million to fund so-called "sweat equity" homeownership programs. Triple the funding level of 2002, this proposal would provide grants to support nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity, which requires low-income families to help construct the homes they will eventually own.
  • Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership. HUD allows local housing agencies the flexibility to use rental assistance vouchers toward moving low-income families into homeownership. The housing agencies may either provide mortgage assistance in lieu of a rental subsidy or offer families a one-time downpayment grant equaling up to one-year's worth of their rental assistance.

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.


Content Archived: April 22, 2010