The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
January 27, 2003

Homeownership Continues to Increase in 2002

HUD Statement on Record Homeownership Rates in 2002

Census Bureau data released on January 27, 2003 show that there are more homeowners in America than at any time in history. The 2002 annual homeownership rate was 67.9 percent, up 0.1 percent from the previous record posted in 2001. And, in the fourth quarter of 2002, a new all-time national homeownership record was set at 68.3 percent, up 0.3 percent from both the third quarter of 2002 and the fourth quarter of 2001.

"Increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, is a priority for the Bush Administration," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez. "The increase in new homeowners, announced today, demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction towards reaching our goal of adding 5.5 million new homeowners by the end of the decade."

Homeownership also increased for minorities to a record high of 49.9 percent in 2002, an increase of 0.8 percent. Last year President Bush announced "America's Homeownership Challenge," calling on the housing industry to help increase minority homeownership. The result was the Blueprint for the American Dream Partnership, an unprecedented public-private partnership to increase minority homeownership by helping to educate homebuyers, increase the supply of affordable housing, offer down-payment assistance and provide flexible financing options that help people realize the American Dream.

Last week, the Administration announced several 2004 budget proposals aimed at increasing the production of affordable housing, combating regulatory barriers, and helping more low-income, minority families become homeowners. These proposals include: $113 million increase for the Department's HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which will boost the supply of housing that is affordable to low-income families, as well as an additional $200 million for the American Dream Downpayment Fund to help low- to moderate-income families become first-time homeowners and an added $2 million for research to help reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing. Additionally, HUD is requesting an additional $10 million toward housing counseling to assist thousands more low-income individuals and families to find and maintain homes.

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.

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