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June 23, 1997

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U.S. Conference of Mayors


In a major address today at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, President Clinton outlined his seven-point urban agenda -- to give individuals, families and communities the power and responsibility to solve their own problems and make the most of their own lives:

  1. Extending the benefits of economic recovery to every neighborhood in America.
  2. Doing more to take back our streets from crime -- especially to prevent young people from falling into lives of crime.
  3. Finishing the job of welfare reform by creating enough jobs for all who can -- and now must -- work.
  4. Extending the benefits of homeownership to meet the national goal of having more than two-thirds of the American people living in their own homes by 2000.
  5. Raising standards in our schools and investing more in our young people.
  6. Meeting public health challenges, including HIV and AIDS.
  7. Creating in our cities our national ideal of One America that crosses all racial, ethnic and other lines that divide us.

President Clinton announced new actions to strengthen America's cities, family by family, by helping more people buy a home:

  • To increase the police presence in America's cities by getting police to live in the communities they serve, President Clinton announced a new Officer Next Door initiative -- to enable police officers and their families to buy HUD-owned single-family homes in central cities at a 50% discount.
  • To lower the average closing cost on a new home, President Clinton announced a $200 cut in the FHA mortgage premium -- on top of $1,200 in cuts over the past four years -- for families who buy homes in central cities.
  • For families receiving Section 8 assistance that are ready to assume the responsibility of homeownership but can't afford the first step, President Clinton announced a new Homeownership Empowerment Voucher initiative, to allow those families to use their rent vouchers to help to buy a home. Freddie Mac will help finance up to 2,000 of these new mortgages.

President Clinton said:

"Our cities are back. We've got the biggest economic resurgence in cities since World War II; the unemployment rate down by a third in our 50 largest cities; more downtowns coming back to life with sports and tourism and local business booming...But I also know, and you know, that we have much more to do."

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