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President Clinton(unknown chars)s Radio Address to the Nation: Helping Homeless Americans Achieve Self -Sufficiency and Working Families Purchase Homes

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        SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2000

                             December 23, 2000

Today, President Clinton will announce several new steps to provide more
opportunities for housing and supportive services for thousands of
Americans ? whether they are homeless, live in public or assisted housing,
or seek to purchase their own homes.  The President will announce that the
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding over $1
billion in grants to help more than 200,000 homeless people obtain housing
and vital social services to reach self-sufficiency ? the largest amount
ever in U.S. history. The President also will announce the publication of a
final rule requiring Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to promote economic
integration in public housing.  Finally, the President will announce a 9
percent increase in the Federal Housing Administration?s loan limits, to a
maximum $239,250, expanding homeownership opportunities for working
families throughout the nation.  These announcements build on the
Clinton-Gore record of promoting self-sufficiency for homeless persons and
increasing home ownership in America.

President today will announce over $1 billion in grants that will empower
more than 200,000 homeless people to find housing and to access the
services they need to achieve self-sufficiency. These grants are the
product of President Clinton?s Continuum of Care strategy, initiated in
1993.  The goal of this strategy, which requires local public and private
agencies to collaborate on creating a comprehensive plan to address the
needs of poor and homeless people,  is to ensure that communities respond
to homelessness not simply by providing emergency assistance, but also by
putting into place comprehensive and long-term approaches to help homeless
people become self-sufficient.  Last year, Harvard University?s Kennedy
School of Government and the Ford Foundation recognized HUD and the
Continuum of Care strategy as a winner of their Innovations in American
Government Award.

?    Continuum of Care Grants.  The President will announce $895 million in
Continuum of Care grants to help homeless people in over 350 communities
across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin
Islands, and Guam.  Included in this amount is nearly $29 million in
one-year Shelter Plus Care renewal grants.  The Continuum of Care grants
provide homeless people with transitional and permanent housing and fund
social services such as job training, child care, substance abuse
treatment, and mental health services.  The Continuum of Care grants,
implemented by HUD Secretary Cuomo, will fund 2,633 individual projects.
Non-profit organizations receiving funds include local chapters of the
Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, and Catholic Charities.

?    Emergency Shelter Grants.  The President also will announce $150
million in Emergency Shelter Grants to 312 local jurisdictions located in
all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  Under this
program, states and cities select local projects to receive funding for
emergency shelter and other homeless needs.  These funds can be used to
improve the quality of existing emergency shelters, to make available
additional shelters and transitional housing, to meet the costs of
operating shelters and of providing essential social services to homeless
individuals, and to help prevent homelessness. The funds are distributed
through a formula based on a community?s housing and poverty needs.

HOUSING.  The President will announce the publication of a final rule
requiring PHAs to promote economic integration in public housing.  Also,
the rule provides clarification to PHAs on what they must do to
affirmatively further fair housing in their admissions policies.  As a
result of this rule, HUD will now require PHAs to make reasonable efforts
to assure that families of various incomes and races have maximum
opportunities in the public housing and voucher programs.  This action
builds on the Clinton-Gore Administration?s previous efforts to move toward
decent, safe, and affordable housing for all, securing nearly 200,000 new
housing vouchers in the past three years.   In addition, the Administration
increased fair market rents in difficult markets to improve access for
voucher holders to a larger number of rental units, and helped PHAs use
some housing vouchers to expand tenant rental opportunities. The
Administration also improved public housing by demolishing the worst
developments and offering former tenants new housing choices, and has
fought housing discrimination by increasing the number of fair housing
enforcement actions.

announce the raising of the Federal Housing Administration?s loan limits by
9 percent to a maximum $239,250, expanding homeownership opportunities for
working families throughout the nation.  This action comes at a time when
the nation is celebrating the highest homeownership rates in history, 67.7
percent, exceeding the goal of 67.5 percent set by the President five years
ago.  Nearly ten million more families own homes today than in 1993 when
the Clinton-Gore Administration began.  The percentage of FHA loans to
first-time home buyers has increased from 62 percent in 1992 to 82 percent
in 2000.  Over the same period, the percentage of loans to minorities has
doubled from 22 percent to 40 percent with FHA insuring home loans for 4.3
million first-time homebuyers.  Since 1993, FHA has helped 1.9 million
minority families buy a home.  FHA insures about forty-two percent of all
home mortgages to African-American and Hispanic homebuyers.  The
Administration also recently finalized a rule allowing qualified working
families to use housing vouchers to purchase a home.

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