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Industry News

White House Conference on Minority Homeownership: Blueprint for the American Dream

October 15, 2002

Message from HUD Secretary Mel Martinez:
[Logo: Blueprint for the American Dream.]

Today, homeownership in America is at an all time high - but not all Americans have benefited. While three-quarters of white Americans own their own homes, less than half of all African Americans and Hispanic Americans are homeowners. Even with a surge in homeownership during the 1990's, the homeownership gap between minority and white households declined by just 1.5 percentage points.

President George W. Bush announced an ambitious plan in June 2002 to help close the homeownership gap by increasing minority homeownership by 5.5 million families before the end of the decade. He challenged the public and private sectors to work together to reach or exceed that goal. The result is the creation of an unprecedented public/ private partnership - the Blueprint for the American Dream - that is tearing down barriers to minority homeownership andworking to help millions of minority families reap the economic benefits of homeownership. There are two dozen member groups in the Blueprint Partnership, and they bring together the individual strengths of government, the real estate and mortgage finance industry, affordable housing groups and advocacy organizations.

Working together, the Blueprint Partners identified four key areas they should focus on to increase minority homeownership, and made specific commitments to take action in one or more Pathways to Homeownership:
> homeownership education and housing counseling;
increasing the supply of affordable homes;
giving families new options for upfront funds like the downpayment; and
>   improving mortgage lending by increasing funds for affordable loans and redoubling efforts to root out illegal discrimination.

Read a new HUD Report, "The Economic Benefits of Minority Homeownership." [pdf]


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