April 25, 2005
STATEMENT FROM SECRETARY ALPHONSO JACKSON ON RECORD MINORITY HOMEOWNERSHIP
The Census Bureau released data today showing that minority homeownership hit an all-time high during the first quarter of 2005. The new quarterly record rate of 51.6 percent means that 15.7 million minority families now own their own homes.
There was also a new quarterly record for Hispanic homeownership. The rate of 49.7 percent means there are now 5.8 million Hispanic homeowners in the United States.
Overall homeownership was also at an all-time high in the first quarter, with 74.5 million American families now owning their own homes.
"These new numbers, combined with news that sales of previously-owned homes were near record levels last month, show that housing is still a leader as our economy continues to improve. The Bush Administration is committed to building on these accomplishments so that people from every walk of life can have the opportunity to become homeowners," said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "The President's housing initiatives are paving the way for more Americans, particularly minorities, to achieve that dream."
Two years ago, President Bush challenged the nation to create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of this decade. To date, there has been a net increase of 2.3 million minority homeowners, which represents 43 percent of the 5.5 million goal.
HUD's 2006 budget proposes a program called Payment Incentives, which would allow borrowers with limited or weak credit histories to purchase homes by initially paying higher mortgage insurance premiums. These would gradually be reduced after a period of timely payments. In 2006, this program will help thousands of families buy a home of their own.
To stimulate the production of affordable homes in distressed communities where such housing is scare, the Administration is again 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.
The 2006 Budget also provides $200 million to fully fund the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI). T his Initiative helps first-time homebuyers with the biggest obstacles to homeownership - the downpayment and closing costs. Since President Bush signed this initiative into law, ADDI has helped more than 3,500 families to purchase their first home. More than half of these new homeowners were minorities.
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.