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2009-06-10 22:02:32

Don’t Forget! June is Homeownership Month


With barely a whisper, HUD ushered in its most celebrated month of the year, National Homeownership Month, so quietly most of the nation didn’t even take notice.

Homeownership Month, which was originally a Week but was promoted to Month status by the Bush Administration and Congress in 2002, was a time for speeches, news conferences, fairs, ribbon-cuttings, resolutions, media tours — even a multi-city tour in a bus fitted out to make a country singer envious. This year the Month has rated only a Presidential proclamation.

How times have changed!

The short seven-year lifetime of Homeownership Month spans the nation’s greatest housing boom and bust. It’s fascinating to review how Homeownership Month changed through the years.


“The goal is, everybody who wants to own a home has got a shot at doing so.”
President Bush, News conference at HUD, June 18, 2002


HUD and its partners are also launching the "Homeownership Express," a national bus tour delivering information about housing counseling, down-payment assistance, flexible mortgage financing and other resources for becoming a homeowner to communities nationwide. -- HUD News Release


“Over the past three years, the housing market has driven the national economy, as Americans bought and refinanced homes in record numbers. Many regions were spared the worst of the recent recession because the local housing market was so strong.” -- Secretary Alphonso Jackson, National Press Club, June 14, 2004


“In 2002, President Bush challenged HUD to create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of the decade, and just three years later, we are almost halfway to our goal. I believe the American Dream is within reach for every family who desires to become a homeowner and these fairs will provide the tools needed to get them moving in the right direction," said Secretary Jackson in a HUD News Release.


President Bush declared June National Homeownership Month and HUD, for its part, will focus on the Department's efforts to modernize Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs to help even more families to become first-time homeowners. -- HUD News Release.


This year's theme - Promoting and Protecting Homeownership - promotes first-time homebuying; encourages homebuyers to learn about the responsibilities of owning a home; and helps consumers understand the fine print of a mortgage. -- HUD News Release.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today launched a month-long campaign to continue helping families avoid foreclosure -- HUD News Release.


But [the home] is also the very foundation that has crumbled in our current housing and economic crisis and led far too many Americans to lose their homes or risk foreclosure. -- President Barack Obama

When all is said done, where are we today?

In the fourth quarter of 2008, the national homeownership rate for the fourth quarter fell to 67.5 percent, a level last reached in the first quarter of 2001, the year before the first Homeownership Month.

Since the start of the housing bust in 2005, homeownership rates have fallen more steeply for two of the nation's largest minority groups -- blacks and native-born Latinos -- than for the rest of the population, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

Steve Cook is a nationally recognized speaker and author. He has worked with various companies and organizations as a consultant. He has an extensive background in public relations, journalism and politics. Check out his Real Estate Economics News blog on RealTown.
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