Calling homeownership a key feature of the American way of life, Gov. Gary Locke proclaimed June Homeownership Month in Washington state and called on the real estate, finance and housing industries to continue to work toward making the American Dream a reality for more people.
June is National Home Ownership month, a month-long educational outreach effort designed to provide important homebuying information and financial tools, particularly to minority families.
The Census reports that, for the first time in our nations history, more than half of minority families own their own home.
But minority homeownership rates still fall well short of the national homeownership rate of nearly 70 percent.
Owning a home is still the best opportunity for most people to build wealth and provide stability for their families, said HUD Regional Office Director John W. Meyers. Working with the state of Washington our goal is to increase already historic homeownership rates and open even more doors for those who want to share in our American Dream.
In the proclamation, Locke stated there is a strong need to promote homeownership, expand homebuyer education and home ownership assistance programs for first-time homebuyers, and eliminate barriers to expand homeownership opportunities for all.
Recently, HUD announced more than $3.6 million in funding to help lower income residents in Washington purchase their first home.
Provided under HUDs American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI), the funding will enable many first-time homebuyers earning less than 80 percent of their communitys median income to purchase their first home.
This new federal program will give first-time homebuyers grants worth up to $10,000.
HUDs other programs to help first-time homebuyers include low-downpayment FHA insured home loans, homeownership voucher programs offered through local Housing Authorities and the opportunity to purchase HUD homes.
HUDs FHA program has helped 3,330 first-time homebuyers in Washington so far this year.
For more information on HUDs homeownership programs in Washington, visit www.hud.gov/washington.
HUD is the nations 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 as well as enforces the nations fair housing laws.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.