HUD No. 07-011
February 8, 2007
HUD SECRETARY HIGHLIGHTS CRITICAL HOUSING INITIATIVES IN KEYNOTE ADDRESS TO NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS
Tours International Builders Show and NextGen Demonstration Home
ORLANDO, FL - Today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson attended the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) annual International Builders Show and Convention at the Orange County Convention Center to speak to the NAHB Board of Directors and to review the latest advancements in home construction. Jackson emphasized the benefits of homeownership as well as several initiatives in President Bush's Fiscal Year 2008 proposed budget that would increase minority and low-income homeownership, tear down regulatory barriers, and boost the production of affordable housing.
"President Bush remains committed to promoting an 'Ownership Society' -- an important part of which is to help more people become homeowners," said Jackson. "Together with the homebuilders, we are making progress toward that goal. Today, more Americans have a home of their own than at any time in history. Nearly 70 percent of all American families own their own home, and minority homeownership exceeds 51 percent, also an historic high."
The Secretary's speech highlighted HUD's FY 2008 Budget request that seeks to expand homeownership, promote affordable housing and assist those most in need. President Bush has proposed a $35.2 billion budget for HUD, which represents a $1.6 billion, or 4.5 percent, increase over his request for FY 2007.
Secretary Jackson highlighted several critical initiatives in the proposed FY 2008 budget that work to increase homeownership, including:
- A $50 million increase in the Department's HOME Investment Partnership program. An estimated $1.97 billion will be provided to state and local grantees to assist homebuyers and renters by helping to finance the costs of land acquisition, new construction rehabilitation.
- Increasing HUD's Housing Counseling Grant Program from $40 million to $45 million to help hundreds of thousands of families manage their finances and improve their credit ratings in order to become home owners.
- $16 billion for HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program to help two million low-income families obtain decent, safe and affordable housing. With an increase of $100 million from last year's request, reforms to the Housing Voucher Choice programs would also help 180,000 additional families find housing.
- $39 million to boost homeownership through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, which requires homeowners to contribute "sweat equity" hours to construct their homes.
- Modernizing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which would enable the FHA to give more low and moderate-income families access to safe and affordable housing financing options.
|HUD Secretary highlights critical housing initiatives in Keynote address to National Association of Home Builders in Orlando Florida.
"The Federal Housing Administration has helped more than 34 million Americans to buy a home. But the market has changed, and FHA needs to change with it. Modernizing the FHA would give it the tools it needs to offer hard-working, credit-worthy borrowers the opportunity to obtain financing at a cost they can afford. American homebuyers need FHA. Legislation to modernize it is critical," Secretary Jackson said.
Secretary Jackson also toured the NextGen "First to the Future" Demonstration Home. This 2,700-square-foot home features the latest innovations in home construction; it showcases approximately 15 technological advancements identified by HUD's Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) program that create energy efficient, disaster resistant, durable, and comfortable homes. The technologies featured were chosen to address not only a one-time disaster, but also longer-term issues such as moisture, mold and durability. Featuring this exhibit at the Builders show gives HUD and PATH the opportunity to show over 100,000 leading edge builders how new technologies can be successfully integrated into a well-built, affordable home.
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.