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 Home > News & Policies > August 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 8, 2001

President Begins Home to the Heartland Tour by Building a Home

Today's Presidential Action:

  • President Bush will begin his Home to the Heartland tour in Waco, Texas. He will help build a home with volunteers from Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, faith-based ministry program dedicated to providing housing for low-income Americans.
  • To honor Habitat's service, President Bush is helping to build a home as part of Habitat's World Leaders Build. Leaders from more than 25 countries will be participating in Habitat-sponsored homebuilding events worldwide this week. Members of the President's White House staff, led by Secretary Card, will be participating in a Habitat build in Northern Virginia.

Background on the President's Visit:

  • The President wants to help more low-income Americans purchase their first home. Programs like Habitat for Humanity serve as examples of community and faith-based organizations that succeed because they focus on results. The President will propose a tripling of the funding available to groups like Habitat for Humanity in next year's budget.
  • This year is the 25th Anniversary of the founding of Habitat for Humanity. Habitat and its affiliates have built and sold more than 100,000 homes in 81 nations worldwide to families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. Habitat families work an average of 500 sweat equity hours on their own home and other Habitat homes.
  • Habitat for Humanity is a faith-based organization that has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with government. The organization, along with other self-help homeownership groups, gets some of its funding through a competitive grant administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). SHOP provides seed money to purchase land and build necessary infrastructure. This government assistance has been leveraged by Habitat and similar organizations into millions of additional dollars of private support for home construction in communities across the U.S.

The President's Budget Promoting Homeownership for All Americans:

  • The President's FY02 budget increases funding for HUD to $30.4 billion, an increase of $1.9 billion (6.8 percent) over the 2001 enacted level. These funds are targeted toward HUD's core mission --housing and community revitalization-- and strengthening HUD management.
  • The President's budget also includes funding to help more Americans particularly low-income Americans afford the American dream of homeownership.
  • American Dream Downpayment Fund. The fund will provide $200 million within HUD's HOME Investment Partnership program to provide downpayment assistance and help more than 130,000 low-income families overcome their greatest obstacle to purchasing their first home.
  • Single Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit. To further promote homeownership opportunities, the President has proposed a $1.7 billion tax credit to support the rehabilitation or new construction of an estimated 100,000 homes for purchase by low-income households over a five-year period.
  • Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages. For FY 2002, HUD will seek authority to allow the Federal Housing Administration to offer families a hybrid adjustable rate mortgage, reducing families' initial homeownership costs by combining a low fixed rate in the early years with a rate that later adjusts with the market.

For more information please contact White House Domestic Policy at (202)