HUD Archives: News Releases


HUD No. 04-061
Gloria Shanahan

(202) 708-0685

For Release
Saturday
June 26, 2004

BERNARDI ANNOUNCES NEW 'HOMEWISE' PROGRAM AT MIAMI HOMEOWNERSHIP EXPO - ONE LUCKY FAMILY TO BECOME HOMEOWNER
HUD also announces $65 million to State of Florida

MIAMI - One lucky family in Miami will have the chance to own a home of their own because of an innovative new program announced today by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi. Speaking to hundreds of prospective South Florida homebuyers at HUD's Miami Homeownership Expo, Bernardi announced Miami is one of ten cities selected to participate in local lotteries that will provide a newly renovated HUD home to a first-time homebuyer.

Bernardi also announced the State of Florida will receive more than $65 million in HUD funding to stimulate local economies, produce affordable housing and help the homeless individuals and families. The funding will also help house and serve individuals with HIV/AIDS and will provide downpayment assistance to lower income families (see attached chart).

Under HUD's Homewise Program, the National Housing Endowment will purchase a HUD home located at 1080 NW 185 Terrace in Miami Gardens. The single-family home will be renovated by a contractor affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders with donations provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Once restored, the home will be sold to a lower-income, first-time homebuyer at a 50 percent discount.

"Through the Homewise Program, we're hoping to encourage first-time homebuyers to seek housing counseling and remain a homeowner for life," said Bernardi. "This is an exciting opportunity for one family to share in the American Dream of homeownership while encouraging all first-time homebuyers to take advantage of HUD-funded counseling programs throughout South Florida."

To be eligible for the discounted home under the Homewise Program, an individual or family must be a first-time homebuyer who has completed an approved housing counseling course and earn no more than 80 percent of the Miami area's median income. The application period begins today and will continue through July. Those interested in applying for this program can find information and an application on the HUD website or call 1 (888) 297-8685.

June is National Homeownership Month - a month-long educational outreach effort designed to provide important homebuying information and financial tools, particularly to minority families. In his remarks at HUD's Homeownership Expo, Bernardi also said HUD is providing more than $8 million in downpayment and closing cost assistance to help hundreds of families throughout Florida to purchase their first home. Provided under HUD's American Dream Downpayment Initiative, this funding will also help pay for the cost of renovating a home. Included in this funding is the more than $2 million announced today to the State of Florida (see attached chart).

Bernardi said, "The single greatest obstacle to homeownership is the downpayment and closing costs. This program will put hundreds of lower income Florida families on the path toward realizing their own American Dream."

President Bush signed the American Dream Downpayment Act into law last December and is seeking another $200 million in funding to help up to 40,000 more individuals and families to buy their first home. To be eligible for this assistance, individuals must be first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing one- to four-family housing, condominium unit, cooperative unit or manufactured housing. In addition, individuals who qualify for this assistance must earn no more than 80 percent of their area's median income. If you are interested in obtaining downpayment assistance through this program, please contact your local city, county or state.

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.

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HUD Funding to the State of Florida

Program Grant Amount
CDBG $33,341,184
HOME $23,361,159
ADDI $2,065,783
HOPWA $4,063,,000
ESG $2,748,657
Total $65,579,783

For the past 30 years, HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has awarded over $100 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities. CDBG is one of HUD's oldest and most popular programs. The rehabilitation of affordable housing has traditionally been the largest single use of the grants although CDBG is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities. CDBG funds are distributed by formula around the country based on a community's population, income levels, poverty rates and the age of its housing stock.

HOME (HOME Investment Partnerships Program) is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to produce affordable housing for low-income families. Since 1992, more than 600 communities have committed to produce nearly 785,000 affordable housing units, including almost 300,000 for new homebuyers purchasing their first home. In addition, over 100,000 tenants have received direct rental assistance.

The American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) aims to increase the homeownership rate, especially among lower income and minority households, and to revitalize and stabilize communities. ADDI will help first-time homebuyers with the biggest hurdle to homeownership: downpayment and closing costs. The program was created to assist low-income first-time homebuyers in purchasing single-family homes by providing funds for downpayment, closing costs, and rehabilitation carried out in conjunction with the assisted home purchase. Information about this program is available on the Internet.

HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS(HOPWA) grants are distributed based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grants provide rental assistance and support services to individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families. In addition, the HOPWA program also helps many communities develop strategic AIDS housing plans and fill in gaps in local systems of care. A stable home environment is a critical component for low-income persons managing complex drug therapies and potential side effects from their treatments.

Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) help local communities to meet the basic shelter needs of homeless individuals and families. These grants also provide transitional housing and a variety of support services designed to move the homeless away from a life on the street toward permanent housing. This block grant program, in concert with more than $1 billion HUD awards by competition, helps thousands of local homeless assistance programs to help those who would otherwise call the streets their home.

 
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