They were only doing what Bush told them to do back in 2002. (President Calls for Expanding Opportunities to Home Ownership)
And it starts with setting a goal. And so by the year 2010, we must increase minority home owners by at least 5.5 million. In order to close the homeownership gap, we've got to set a big goal for America, and focus our attention and resources on that goal.
Three-quarters of white America owns their homes. Less than 50 percent of African Americans are part of the homeownership in America. And less than 50 percent of the Hispanics who live here in this country own their home. And that has got to change for the good of the country. It just does.
One of the barriers to homeownership is the inability to make a downpayment. And if one of the goals is to increase homeownership, it makes sense to help people pay that downpayment. We believe that the amount of money in our budget, fully approved by Congress, will help 40,000 families every year realize the dream of owning a home. Part of the success of Park Place is that the city of Atlanta already does this. And we want to make the plan more robust. We want to make it more full all across America.
That's why I've challenged the industry leaders all across the country to get after it for this goal, to stay focused, to make sure that we achieve a more secure America, by achieving the goal of 5.5 million new minority home owners. I call it America's home ownership challenge.
And let me talk about some of the progress which we have made to date, as an example for others to follow. First of all, government sponsored corporations that help create our mortgage system -- I introduced two of the leaders here today -- they call those people Fannie May and Freddie Mac, as well as the federal home loan banks, will increase their commitment to minority markets by more than $440 billion. I want to thank Leland (Brendsel) and Franklin (Raines) for that commitment. It's a commitment that conforms to their charters, as well, and also conforms to their hearts.
This means they will purchase more loans made by banks after Americans, Hispanics and other minorities, which will encourage homeownership. Freddie Mac will launch 25 initiatives to eliminate homeownership barriers. Under one of these, consumers with poor credit will be able to get a mortgage with an interest rate that automatically goes down after a period of consistent payments.
Fannie Mae will establish 100 partnerships with faith-based organizations that will provide home buyer education and help increase homeownership for their congregations. I love the partnership.
The Enterprise Foundation and the local initiative support corporation will increase efforts to build and rehabilitate more homes in inner cities at affordable prices by working with local community development corporations.
The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (read: ACORN & La Raza) will dramatically expand financial and home buyer education efforts to 380,000 minority families. The Neighborhood Housing Services of America (read: ACORN & La Raza) will raise $750 million to promote homeownership initiatives in many communities. We're beginning to use the Internet better, so that realtors all across the country will be able to call up programs all designed to help minority home buyers understand what's available, what's possible, and what to avoid. The National Realtors Association will create a central data bank of affordable housing programs, which will be made available to agents, real estate agents, to help people.
The Financial Mess: How We Got Here
By Abraham H. Miller
“As you can imagine, wonderful things happen when the government strong arms corporations as to how they should spend their money and, better yet, how they should assess the qualifications of home buyers. So the country’s biggest buyers of mortgages were pressured into lowering the qualifications of applicants, in order to increase the percentage of poor that got mortgages. By 2006, 30% of all mortgages went to people who in any other circumstances wouldn’t qualify.”