HUD Secretary Announces $161.5 Million in Downpayment Assistance for First-Time Homebuyers

RISMEDIA, June 2-Thousands of low-income families will be able to realize the American Dream and purchase their first home because of $161.5 million in funding announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

The funding will be allocated to more than 400 state and local governments this year and will help first-time homebuyers overcome the single greatest obstacle to homeownership-the downpayment and closing costs.

"During the Bush Administration, a record number of new homeowners, specifically minority families, have achieved a home of their own," said Jackson. "I encourage Congress to fully support the president's request to continue this important new homeownership tool so even more families can realize their American Dream."

The American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) will enable many first-time homebuyers earning less than 80 percent of their community's median income to purchase their first home. Bush signed the American Dream Downpayment Act into law last December. This new federal program will give first-time homebuyers grants worth up to $10,000 or six percent of the home's purchase price, whichever is greater. These grants help to defray the upfront costs of purchasing a first home and can also be used to offset the costs of rehabilitating the property. Bush is seeking an additional $200 million in funding next year.

To be eligible for this assistance, individuals must be first-time homebuyers interested in purchasing a one- to four-family home, condominium unit, cooperative unit or manufactured housing. In addition, individuals who qualify for this assistance must have incomes not exceeding 80 percent of area median income.

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