HUD reports 3Q homeownershipMortgagePress.comHUD,George W. Bush,Minority Housing According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are now 73.7 million homeowners in the United States, more than any time in history. As reported in Census Bureau third quarter data, this figure is 323,000 higher than the previous record set in the second quarter of 2004 and almost 1.6 million more than the third quarter of 2003. Minority homeownership was also at an all-time high in the third quarter. There are now 15.2 million minority homeowners in the U.S. In June 2002, President George W. Bush set a goal to create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of the decade. Since the launch of the president's Minority Homeownership Initiative, there has been a net increase of 1.8 million minority homeowners. In addition to the funding, these existing AIDS housing programs are committing $6 million in matching funds and have generated another $27.5 million from other resources to further assist individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families. These projects are expected to provide housing assistance to more than 2,000 persons over each of next three years. "These numbers, combined with news that sales of previously owned homes jumped 3.1 percent in September, show that housing continues to lead the way in our rapidly recovering economy," said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "President Bush is committed to building on these accomplishments because he believes that people from every walk of life should have the opportunity to become homeowners. The President's housing initiatives will break down the barriers and pave the way for more Americans, particularly minorities, to achieve that dream." In June, HUD announced $161.5 million in funding for the American Dream Down Payment Initiative (ADDI), to provide down payment and closing costs assistance to 40,000 low-income families a year. In March, HUD announced new adjustable-rate mortgage products that will make homeownership available to an additional 40,000 families annually. And in January, HUD announced the FHA Zero Down Payment Initiative, which, with the support of Congress, could generate an additional 150,000 homebuyers in its first year. Other administration proposals aimed at increasing the production of affordable housing and helping more low-income, minority families become homeowners include: a $78 million increase for the department's HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which will boost the supply of housing that is affordable to low-income families; and a request for an additional $5 million for housing counseling to help thousands more low-income individuals and families find and maintain homes. For more information, visit www.hud.gov.