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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 2, 2004

Increasing Affordable Housing and Expanding Homeownership

We live in a time of change, and our dynamic economy can create great opportunities for America's families to realize their dreams. During this time of change, President Bush believes that government should help families to have the security, dignity, and independence that comes with owning their piece of the American dream.

President Bush has a bold agenda for promoting an ownership society: giving young people the option of voluntary personal accounts under Social Security to give them more control over their retirement savings; Health Savings Accounts to give individuals expanded access and choice in health care; lower taxes and less burdensome regulations on entrepreneurs; and policies to eliminate barriers to homeownership.

President Bush supports homeownership, which gives Americans a greater stake in their communities. The President has been leading a three-part strategy for increasing homeownership by:

The President's New Proposals for Affordable Housing and Increased Homeownership

To help more Americans achieve the American dream of owning their own home, President Bush set a new public-private goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing by seven million over the next 10 years. To meet this goal, the President is calling for passage of his Homeownership Tax Credit and encouraging communities to reduce regulatory barriers through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's America's Affordable Communities Initiative and the President's new Opportunity Zones initiative.

Increasing the Supply of Affordable Housing Units Available for Ownership

The lack of affordable housing can be an insurmountable barrier for low- and moderate-income homebuyers in many parts of the country, especially along the coasts. Traditionally, affordable housing efforts have focused on the short-term goal of increasing the affordability and number of available rental units, and have not focused on ownership. As part of the President's plan to build an ownership society, he has focused on encouraging homeownership, particularly among minorities and low-income families. In 2003, the number of homeowners increased by 1.7 million as the number of renters declined in the United States by over one million families.

The President's Homeownership Accomplishments

Congress and the President have worked together to accomplish important elements of his strategy - providing downpayment support for low-income families and good financing options for rural buyers. Under President Bush's leadership, overall U.S. homeownership in the second quarter of 2004 reached an all-time high of 69.2 percent. Single-family housing affordability is at its highest level in 30 years, and minority homeownership set a new record-high of 51 percent in the second quarter.

The President has called on Congress to work with him on additional steps to promote homeownership in America. He has set bold goals for homeownership, including his challenge to the Nation to create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of the decade - and he has now set an additional goal of 7 million new affordable homes.


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