The President's "America's Homeownership Challenge" has
generated an unprecedented response from the nation's affordable housing industry. They
have answered the President's challenge because they understand that homeownership is the
single most powerful tool a family can use to improve its quality of life.
The Bush Administration has developed an aggressive housing
agenda that includes both new programs and the expansion of existing programs targeted at
making homeownership an option for more minority families. The Blueprint
Partnership - our name for the group of entities that have joined together in
response to the President's minority homeownership challenge - builds on the
individual strengths of government, the real estate and mortgage finance industries,
affordable housing groups and advocacy organizations. In doing so, the Partnership offers
something through its collective strength that government alone cannot: a
multi-dimensional, public/ private approach to closing the minority homeownership gap.
We have identified the four most important steps for meeting the
- Educating homebuyers. This involves providing potential
buyers with information about homeownership opportunities. Education is especially important
for immigrant families, who are often unfamiliar with America's homebuying process and the
opportunity for long-term financing, and may face the additional hurdle of a language
- Increasing the supply of affordable homes. Here, we focus
on increasing the supply of affordable housing in areas where housing is scarce. Strategies
range from using proven and effective federal housing programs in order to boost supply, to
reducing local regulatory burdens.
- Providing assistance with down payment and closing costs.
We can help families overcome one of the most common obstacles to homeownership - high
down payment and closing costs - by expanding their options and giving them new
opportunities to acquire the necessary capital.
- Offering financing options. The final step on the road to
homeownership is financing the home. In this section of the Blueprint, we focus on mortgage
lending, including increasing funds for affordable mortgage loans, redoubling efforts to
root out illegal discrimination, and cutting closing costs through federal regulatory
The Bush Administration and its Blueprint Partners have made
specific commitments, which are outlined within this document.
The President's dramatic challenge to increase the number of
minority homeowners by 5.5 million before the end of this decade sets out a goal, but it
does not by any means represent the limit of our commitment. We will not be satisfied
until every American family that seeks to own a home, can buy a home.
That, after all, is the American Dream.