April 17, 2003
MARTINEZ AND NEY ENDORSE AMERICAN DREAM LEGISLATION TO INCREASE HOMEOWNERSHIP AMONG LOWER INCOME FAMILIES IN OHIO
Secretary Also Highlights $3.1 Million Boost in Funding for Ohio to Increase
LOGAN, Ohio - A bi-partisan bill co-sponsored by Ohio Congressman Bob Ney will help create 40,000 more low-income and minority homeowners, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez told a group of local leaders in Logan today. The proposal would provide downpayment assistance to lower income households while meeting the Bush Administration's goal of expanding minority homeownership by 5.5 million families by the end of the decade.
Martinez also pointed to President Bush's proposed budget for next year, which includes a $113 million, or five percent, increase for HUD's Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). The President's budget calls for Ohio to receive $72.8 million, a $3.1 million increase, for HOME, which fuels the production of affordable housing through flexible grants to states and communities.
"The Bush Administration is committed to helping more lower income and minority families realize the American Dream," said Martinez. "I am pleased that Representative Ney is joining in our effort to provide downpayment assistance. Not only will the bill create more homeowners, but it will help strengthen entire communities."
Ney is co-sponsoring H.R. 1276 to authorize the downpayment assistance program. This year, Congress appropriated $75 million for the American Dream Downpayment Initiative, and President Bush is proposing another $200 million in fiscal year 2004. Qualifying families will receive an average of $5,000 to be used toward downpayment and closing costs.
The American Dream Downpayment Initiative will be administered under the HOME program. Since its inception, HOME has played a vital role in addressing the shortages of affordable rental housing and homeownership in communities nationwide. Get more information about the American Dream Downpayment Initiative.
Census figures indicate that while nearly 70 percent of all American households are homeowners, less than half of African-American and Hispanic families own their own homes. Intent on closing this homeownership gap, President Bush issued the "Homeownership Challenge" to increase minority homeownership by 5.5 million by the end of the decade.
Last year, HUD released a report that concludes adding 5.5 million minority homeowners will stimulate an additional $256 billion in benefits to the housing sector of the U.S. economy. In addition, HUD created The Blueprint for the American Dream Partnership, a coalition involving every segment of the housing industry to build broad-based support of the President's goal of increasing homeownership opportunities for minority families. HUD and its partners hope to meet the President's challenge by:
more people in the home buying process;
the supply of affordable homes;
more downpayment and closing cost assistance; and
more home financing options for lower income Americans.
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.