May 24, 2005
STATEMENT FROM SECRETARY ALPHONSO JACKSON ON APRIL SALES OF EXISTING HOMES
Sales of previously owned single-family homes hit a record high last month. The National Association of Realtors reports that sales in April increased 4.5 percent to an annual rate of 6.28 million units, compared to a rate of 6.01 million units sold in March. The numbers also represent an increase of 5.0 percent from April of last year.
"These numbers combined with last weeks news that housing starts were up 11 percent in April show that housing is still a leading force 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). 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 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.