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CLARKSDALE HOPE VI RESIDENT FIRST TO BUY A HOME

Friday June 18, 2004

Event Marks the Beginning of a Week of Events to Celebrate National Homeownership Month

Margi Decker of the Clarksdale HOPE VI housing development is the first public housing resident to purchase a home using the Section 8 for Homeownership program administered by the Louisville Metro Housing Authority. Ms. Decker, who closed on her loan this morning, is also the 30th person in Louisville Metro to purchase a home using this program that allows Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to be used to make monthly mortgage payments. Louisville Metro Housing and Community Development provided additional financial assistance through HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
 
"Congratulations to HUD for a program that works for everyone," said Mayor Jerry E. Abramson. "Today marks the first time in our community that someone through HOPE VI has stepped into homeownership out of public housing, proving that the American Dream is alive."

June is National Homeownership month – a month-long educational outreach effort designed to provide important homebuying information and financial tools, particularly to minority families. The Census reports that, for the first time in our nation’s history, more than half of minority families own their own home. But minority homeownership rates still fall well short of the national homeownership rate of nearly 70 percent. In June 2002, President Bush issued The Homeownership Challenge to close this ‘homeownership gap’ by adding 5.5 million minority homeowners by the end of the decade. Since then, more than two dozen organizations are working to create more than $1 trillion in mortgage financing for minority homebuyers.

"During National Homeownership Month we celebrate the success of all Kentuckians who are making the dream of homeownership come true,” stated Ben Cook, Kentucky HUD Field Office Director. Cook continued, “We are pleased to be partners with Mayor Abramson and his staff, Republic Bank, Fannie Mae and The Housing Partnership, Inc., as we work together to promote and provide homeownership opportunities for more families just like the Deckers.”

To be eligible for the Section 8 Homeownership option, borrowers must be first-time home buyers; have a minimum income of $10,300 if employed or, if a disabled family, an income of $6,768; be employed at least one year, as applicable; and complete credit screening and pre- and post-purchase homeownership counseling. Individuals and families eligible for the subsidy can qualify for a mortgage loan based on their current earned incomes combined with the housing assistance subsidies. Upon purchasing a home, the Homeownership option allows Section 8 recipients to apply the subsidy toward the mortgage payment.The new homeowners pay 30 percent their income toward the mortgage. Under the Section 8 Homeownership Program with the Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Republic Bank and Trust Company, National City Mortgage, Bank One, Fifth Third Bank and BB&T originate mortgage loans, and Fannie Mae may purchase the eligible loans on the secondary market.
 
Republic Bank and Trust Company, who closed today’s loan, has closed numerous Section 8 for Homeownership loans since the program was instituted. Republic Bank President Scott Trager stated, "We are delighted to be able to assist Ms. Decker in achieving the "American Dream" of homeownership. Locally owned Republic Bank is proud of our partnership with Fannie Mae and Louisville Metro Housing and Community Development in providing the financing to purchase this and other homes in our community."
 
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

Editor’s Note: Anyone interested in assisted homeownership opportunities may call the HUD office at 582-5251.