June 2, 2004
HUD SECRETARY JACKSON ANNOUNCES $161.5 MILLION IN DOWNPAYMENT ASSISTANCE FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS
American Dream funding launches National Homeownership
WASHINGTON - Thousands of low-income families will be able to realize the 'American Dream' and purchase their first home because of $161.5 million in funding announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. The funding will be allocated to more than 400 state and local governments this year and will help first-time homebuyers overcome the single greatest obstacle to homeownership-the downpayment and closing costs (see attached list).
"During the Bush Administration, a record number of new homeowners, specifically minority families, have achieved a home of their own," said Jackson. "I encourage Congress to fully support the President's request to continue this important new homeownership tool so even more families can realize their American Dream."
The American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) will enable many first-time homebuyers earning less than 80 percent of their community's median income to purchase their first home. President Bush signed the American Dream Downpayment Act into law last December. This new federal program will give first-time homebuyers grants worth up to $10,000 or six percent of the home's purchase price, whichever is greater. These grants help to defray the upfront costs of purchasing a first home and can also be used to offset the costs of rehabilitating the property. President Bush is seeking an additional $200 million in funding next year.
To be eligible for this assistance, individuals must be first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing a one- to four-family home, condominium unit, cooperative unit or manufactured housing. In addition, individuals who qualify for this assistance must have incomes not exceeding 80 percent of area median income. If you are interested in obtaining downpayment assistance through this program, please contact your local community.
The American Dream Downpayment Act will be administered under HUD's HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). Since its inception, the HOME Program has assisted more than 300,000 families to become homeowners, 55 percent of which are minorities. Information about The American Dream Downpayment Initiative is available on the Internet.
June is National Homeownership month - a month-long educational outreach effort designed to provide important homebuying information and financial tools, particularly to minority families. The Census reports that, for the first time in our nation's history, more than half of minority families own their own home. But minority homeownership rates still fall well short of the national homeownership rate of nearly 70 percent. In June 2002, President Bush issued The Homeownership Challenge to close this 'homeownership gap' by adding 5.5 million minority homeowners by the end of the decade. Since then, more than two dozen organizations are working to create more than $1 trillion in mortgage financing for minority homebuyers.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and 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 and espanol.hud.gov.