2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting

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     WHEREAS, the U.S. homeownership rate has reached record levels, with 68.6% of households (72.6 million) currently owning their own homes; and,

     WHEREAS, extending homeownership to more families has been a national priority because of the great financial and social benefits that result from homeownership; and,

     WHEREAS, homeownership is very effective both as a wealth-building tool for families and a community-building tool for neighborhoods; and,

     WHEREAS, minority homeownership rates are not equal to that of non-minorities.  In the 4th quarter of 2003, 50.6 percent of minority households owned their own homes compared to a non-Hispanic white rate of 75.5 percent; and,

     WHEREAS, President Bush and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed the Blueprint for the American Dream initiative last year to close the minority homeownership gap and create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of the decade; and,

     WHEREAS, the downpayment is often an unwarranted obstacle to homeownership, especially for minority and low- and moderate-income families.  A recent Federal Reserve study indicated that removing the downpayment for African-American and Hispanic families would have a far greater impact on homeownership rates than lowering interest rates; and

     WHEREAS, HUD believes that FHA can be a primary vehicle for closing this gap and increasing the number of minority and low- and moderate-income families able to achieve homeownership.  FHA has a long and strong record of assisting those not served by conventional markets; and

     WHEREAS, the “Zero Downpayment proposal” will empower FHA with an additional tool to fulfill its mandate to serve those families underserved in the private market.  This initiative will increase homeownership opportunities for minority and low- and moderate-income families who can handle the responsibilities of homeownership but find it difficult to save for a downpayment.

     THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors goes on record supporting HUD’s FHA Zero Downpayment proposal.