INCREASING MINORITY HOMEOWNERSHIP RATES

WHEREAS, minority homeownership grew four times faster than for whites in the 1990s, but the African American and Hispanic homeownership rate is still only 48 percent compared with 74 percent rate for white families and 68 percent for the nation as a whole; and

WHEREAS, owning their own homes is how most American families create wealth in the form of accumulated equity and significant tax savings through mortgage interest rate deductions; and

WHEREAS, The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) has launched the initiative, With Ownership Wealth (WOW), and, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) has launched efforts to promote minority homeownership, and

WHEREAS, increased homeownership rates among minority citizens will depend on continued commitment to fair housing laws that ensures equal opportunity in buying a home; and

WHEREAS, the CBCF and the CHCI are encouraging mayors to join as partners to increase minority homeownership and to encourage participation by the financial institutions, trade associations, mortgage insurance companies, realtors, and community-based organizations in minority homeownership efforts in our communities,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on mayors to develop public/private coalitions to provide citizens, especially in the minority and traditionally underserved neighborhoods, with enhanced opportunities to homeownership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the need for improved financial literacy among consumers, and will work to bring together civic, business, and community leaders so that they can develop initiatives to help consumers have access to the information and tools they need to build solid financial futures and to help minorities purchase homes, which in turns helps to build sound and stable communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the nation renew its commitment to fair housing laws that safeguard every American's opportunity to purchase a home in the neighborhood of his or her choice, further contributing to the stabilization and revitalization of communities in America's cities.