| HUD No. 06-064
June 12, 2006
VISITING FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS, JACKSON, CONGRESSMAN REYNOLDS PROMOTE NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH
HUD Secretary continues nationwide campaign by promoting affordable housing opportunities in Western New York
ROCHESTER, NY - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, today, joined Congressman Thomas Reynolds (NY-26) to commemorate National Homeownership Month by visiting with two families in Western New York who are first time homebuyers.
"Today, more than 75 million Americans own their homes," said Jackson. "Homeownership is empowering people all across America, including here in Western New York. Americans are using their equity to save for the future, send their children to school, and fuel an economy that's created more than 5 million jobs since 2004."
Secretary Jackson and Congressman Reynolds began the day by visiting with Peter and Michelle Ertl and their 9-month old son Jordan at their recently purchased home in Lancaster, New York. Rather than renting, the Ertl's decided to settle down in a family-friendly Lancaster neighborhood where they could raise their son.
In Greece, New York, Secretary Jackson and the Congressman met with Rose Marie Strassner, another first time homebuyer whose son is stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Rose Marie rented all her life and found the homebuying process difficult, especially for a single mother. Refusing to give up, Rose Marie learned more about the homebuying process, and with the support of two grants, was able to purchase her first home.
To help more families recognize the American Dream of owning a home, President Bush has designated June as National Homeownership Month. Today, 68.5 percent of Americans are homeowners, and under President Bush the minority homeownership gap has reached historic lows. Still, the President and Secretary Jackson recognize there is work to be done to ensure homeownership is accessible to everyone. In June 2002, the President challenged the nation to close the minority homeownership gap and create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by 2010. The Census Bureau reports that more than 2.5 million minority families have taken out a mortgage on a new home since June 2002.
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, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.