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Recognizing National Homeownership Month

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


RECOGNIZING NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH -- (House of Representatives - June 25, 2007)

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Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 477 and am pleased to join with my friend from Indiana and am delighted that we are taking time on the floor today to commemorate homeownership in America.

Recognizing the many benefits of owning a home, the President designated June as National Homeownership Month as he has done for the past 6 years. To complement this designation, H. Res. 477 was introduced by the gentleman from California (Gary G. Miller) to recognize that designation and the importance of homeownership in the United States.

Owning a home is a fundamental part of the American Dream, with economic security and hard work being rewarded. Homeownership is much more than knowing that one has a roof and four walls to shelter one's family. It is the symbol of the American Dream, and it forms the bedrock of our communities.

Many of my colleagues celebrate the designation of this month as National Homeownership Month because in America every citizen, regardless of race, creed, color, or place of birth has the opportunity to own a home of their own.

Today, the national homeownership rate in the United States has reached a record high, about 70 percent; and more than half of all minority families are homeowners. While many gains have been made, minority homeownership rates still lag. With minority households expected to account for two-thirds of household growth over the coming decade, improving the ability of such households to make a transition to homeownership will be an important test of our Nation's capacity to create economic opportunities for minorities and immigrants and to build strong, stable communities.

Buying a home is the largest personal investment most families will ever make. For the vast majority of families, the purchase of a home represents the path to prosperity. A home is a tangible asset that builds equity, good credit, borrowing power, and overall wealth. Not only does homeownership provide economic security for building wealth over time; it also strengthens and builds communities. Homeownership creates community stakeholders and inspires civic responsibility. People who own a home tend to be more active in charities, churches, neighborhood activities and more likely to vote and get involved with their community's growth, safety and development.

Further, families owning a home offer children a stable living environment, influencing their personal development in many positive, measurable ways both at home and in school.

Without homeowners, neighborhoods, schools and local businesses suffer. Homeownership helps fuel the economy. This happens mostly through people who spend money for home improvements.

I hope Congress will continue to explore new ways to put people on the path to homeownership so more Americans can realize its benefits.

In closing, it is apparent that the Federal Government, consumers and the housing industry are linked by our mutual goal of creating housing opportunities for more Americans. And although significant strides have been made, we still have much more work to do to achieve together for the American people, and our best hope of being successful is to work in close concert with each other.

As Congress considers future action to make homeownership more secure and available, we need to take care not to hamper the market's ability to provide opportunities for homeownership, and that way we can continue to open our communities and neighborhoods to new opportunities for growth and prosperity.

The resolution before us, H. Res. 477, recognizes the importance of homeownership in America and dedicates the House of Representatives to fostering an atmosphere conducive to community development and increased homeownership opportunities. Congress has a real opportunity here to forge a better America, an America where homeownership and security abounds. I know we all look forward to continue to work to further the American Dream, and I hope my colleagues will join with me and my colleague, Mr. Donnelly, and join in supporting this important resolution that does just that.

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Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I simply rise and urge the passage of House Resolution 477.

I have no other speakers seeking recognition and, with that, yield back the balance of my time.

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