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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 21, 1994




Homeownership is a great anchor of safety and security in an uncertain world, one of America's most potent symbols of freedom and responsibility, of opportunity and prosperity. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has helped to make homeownership and decent affordable housing a reality for millions of Americans, who otherwise might not have had the opportunity.

On this, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the FHA, our Nation must rededicate itself to renewing the effort upon which it embarked in 1934 to expand homeownership opportunities for millions of Americans. For shelter is not only a basic human need -- it also affects our physical and mental well-being, provides us with a sense of security, and is the focus of family living.

America is a country of many blessings -- a rich land, a thriving democracy, a diverse and determined people. Our culture is built on faith in freedom and on the spirit of community. In a nation of such infinite promise, the continuing problem of homelessness is a national tragedy. We must seek a proper balance of compassion and practicality if we are to end the terrible plight of our society's dispossessed.

Homelessness is not a short-term emergency. It demands longer term, broader solutions -- an array of services to meet the different needs of people who find themselves on the streets. Toward this end, my Administration is proposing a new rent structure for publicly assisted housing, and we are expanding on innovative ways to create a new partnership between cities and the Federal Government to provide those in need with critical social services and permanent housing.

As a direct result of the action taken by the Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in creating the FHA, housing 2 finance was revolutionized, new standards of housing industry innovation and consumer protection were created, and the dream of homeownership for more than 21 million American families has since been realized through FHA funding. Housing is vital to the economic and social well-being of our Nation, and it is essential to the vitality and stability of our communities today, just as it was 60 years ago.

In the years since the Great Depression, the FHA has come to symbolize America's commitment to expanding opportunity for improved housing and homeownership. As the challenges facing the Nation during the birth of FHA were formidable, so are the challenges facing our Nation today.

We recognize the importance of a decent home and suitable living environment as a national goal for every American family. The contributions of the FHA toward the attainment of that goal are a crucial step in helping to save countless people from a lonely, often frightening existence. Working together, we can restore hope and dignity to the lives of the many Americans who have no place to call home.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week of June 20 through June 27, 1994, as "National Housing Week," and I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe this week with appropriate activities and events. Let us renew the commitment made 60 years ago and rededicate our Nation to the unfinished business of housing and community development for all Americans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.


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