April 26, 2005
STATEMENT FROM SECRETARY ALPHONSO JACKSON ON RECORD SALES OF NEW HOMES
Sales of new single-family homes rose to an all-time high last month. The Census Bureau and HUD released data today showing an annual sales rate of 1.431 million in March, marking the highest monthly sales rate in the 42-year history of the series. The March numbers were up 12.2 percent from February and increased 12.7 percent from March of 2004.
"These numbers combined with yesterday's news of record minority homeownership in the first quarter of 2005 again show that housing is leading the way in our rapidly recovering economy. President Bush 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 breaking down the barriers and 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.
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). This 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 nations 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.