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George W. Bush On The Issues 2000

George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues


Governor Bush believes homeownership is at the heart of the American Dream. However, the homeownership rate among low-income families and minorities lags behind the national average. Therefore, to increase opportunities for homeownership, Governor Bush will permit government-subsidized renters to aggregate up to a year’s worth of rental vouchers to fund the down payment on a home.  He will also establish a $1 billion “American Dream Down Payment Fund” to provide matching grants to lenders to help an additional 650,000 low-income families finance the purchase of a first home.  Finally, Governor Bush will provide $1.7 billion in investor-based tax credits to encourage the rehabilitation or construction of new, affordable homes in distressed communities.

Governor Bush’s Objectives

Expand Opportunity:
 Governor Bush believes that homeownership is central to the health of the U.S. economy and the wealth of families. Housing accounts for more than 22 percent of U.S. GDP and 21 percent of all household wealth.  However, despite a record homeownership rate, the rates for low-income households (52 percent) and minority households (47 percent) are still well below the national average of 67 percent.  The chief obstacle to homeownership is the inability of many families to finance the down payment and closing costs. Governor Bush will work to tear down this – and other – obstacles to homeownership and, thus, to the middle class.

Increase the Supply of Affordable Homes: Many distressed communities lack a sufficient supply of affordable homes.  One of the biggest obstacles to revitalizing these communities is the gap between the cost of acquiring and rehabbing a home or constructing a new home and the low market prices for homes in distressed areas. Governor Bush believes the government should create incentives for private developers to bridge this gap.

Maintain Local Control of Housing: Housing is a local issue and a national priority.  Local government and communities must have local control and flexibility with federal resources.  Governor Bush believes the federal government should continue to enforce anti-discrimination laws and maximize the opportunity for homeownership for all Americans.

Governor Bush’s Homeownership Proposals

Governor Bush’s Homeownership Plan has 3 objectives:

1. To Increase Homeownership Opportunities for Low-income Working Families, Governor Bush will:

  • Reform the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 rental voucher program to allow recipients to aggregate up to one year’s worth of rental vouchers to use toward the down payment and closing costs associated with the purchase of a first home.

  • Establish the “American Dream Down Payment Fund” to provide $1 billion over five years to match down payment assistance provided by banks on a 3 to 1 basis up to $1,500 per family.  The fund will be administered by state housing agencies and should help over 650,000 first-time low-income homebuyers.

    2. To Increase the Supply of Affordable Single Family Housing, Governor Bush will:

  • Establish the “Renewing the Dream” program to provide $1.7 billion of investor-based tax credits over five years to states to create affordable single family housing.  The program will provide investors with a tax credit of up to 50 percent of project costs to rehabilitate existing abandoned housing or create new single-family housing in low-income urban and rural neighborhoods.

    3. To Remove Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, Governor Bush will:

  • Identify and remove federal regulations that increase the cost of buying and building housing.  He will also make an existing federal clearinghouse on local regulations more accessible to local communities.

Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site


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