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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release October 23, 1997
                       RATE CLIMBS TO 66 PERCENT 


WASHINGTON -- Vice President Gore today (10/23) announced that the U.S. homeownership rate for the third quarter of this year has climbed to 66 percent -- the highest level ever in American history. A record 66.7 million American families now own their own homes -- including record numbers of African-American, Hispanic and female-headed households. Under the Clinton Administration, the number of homeowners has increased by 5.8 million.

"Nearly five years ago, President Clinton and I took office with a simple commitment -- to keep the American dream alive for all of our people," the Vice President said. "Today, with a record two-thirds of all Americans owning their own homes, we can proudly say that we are restoring that American dream for millions of families. We have opened the doors of opportunity for millions of Americans, and they have walked right through those doors -- into new homes of their own."

In 1994, President Clinton set a goal for the nation to reach an all-time high homeownership rate by the year 2000. That goal has been reached a full three years ahead of this target. The new figures, released by the Census Bureau and announced by the Vice President today, break the previous record homeownership rate of 65.8 percent set in the third quarter of 1980.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said, "Today's historic news proves that President Clinton's strategy to increase homeownership across the nation for people of all backgrounds is working. Growing homeownership strengthens communities, strengthens families and helps more hard-working Americans enter the middle class."

From the first quarter of 1981 to the first quarter of 1993, the homeownership rate dropped from 65.6 to 63.7 percent. Since that time, under President Clinton's leadership, the homeownership rate has increased to 66 percent, the largest 4-year rise in homeownership on record.

While a strong economy has been a major contributor, another important factor in the growth of homeownership has been the National Partners in Homeownership -- created in 1995 as part of President Clinton's National Homeownership Strategy. This partnership has been working to implement 100 actions it developed that make buying a home more affordable, faster and easier.