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HUD Secretary Marks National Homeownership Month

HUD Secretary Dedicates House for National Homeownership Month

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2002—Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today kicked off National Homeownership Month by dedicating The House The HUD Secretary Built, a Habitat for Humanity project in which Martinez and volunteers built a wheelchair-accessible house with a District of Columbia family that has a special-needs child.

“June is National Homeownership Month and what better way to mark the occasion than to help one family realize the American Dream,” said Martinez. “Today we open one door, but President Bush and I are committed to opening many more to families who have longed to share in the dream of having a home to call their own.”

Today’s dedication event was not only a celebration for new Habitat for Humanity homeowner, Vernetta Young, but also the kick-off event to National Homeownership Month. Joining the secretary and Young’s family at the dedication was the chairman of the Homeownership Alliance, Robert Mitchell. The Homeownership Alliance is a coalition of more than a dozen organizations, including Habitat for Humanity International, committed to supporting the American housing system.

“Habitat for Humanity International joins with the Homeownership Alliance and Secretary Martinez to kick off National Homeownership Month and celebrate one family’s dream of owning a home,” said Tom Jones, HFHI vice president and managing director of the Washington Office. “Every person, regardless of economic standing, cultural background, religious beliefs or national origin should have the opportunity to achieve this dream of homeownership.”

“It says something about the desire of Americans to own their own home that housing’s share of GDP continues to rise, even as the economy slows,” said Mitchell, referring to a Homeownership Alliance study evaluating homeownership rates. The full study can be found at http://www.homeownershipalliance.com.

The house at 6119 Clay St., NE, has been completely renovated by DC Habitat for Humanity, the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. The home has been designed to be wheelchair accessible to accommodate Young’s 12-year-old daughter, Tierra, who has cerebral palsy. Young, who had to carry Tierra throughout the family’s former residence, looks forward to the larger, more accessible space for her children.

National Homeownership Month is an endeavor to help promote homeownership, specifically targeting minority and low- to middle-income families/individuals through national and regional events.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 120,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.