Housing has appeared again on the Presidential radar screen.

A speech President George W. Bush delivered this week included remarks about home ownership rates, a down payment assistance program and the U.S. Housing Department’s plan to revise the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

What he said:

“Our housing market is strong. We intend to keep it that way. There’s a home ownership gap in America, by the way, that we need to address. There’s a minority home ownership gap. I want to thank the Congress for working with us to pass what we call a down payment plan to help the poor, the poor make a down payment on a home. We’re simplifying the fine print, the rules in Washington.

“Listen, if you’re a first-time home buyer and you take a look at one of these mortgage application forms, you pass out over the amount of small words in the thing. It makes you nervous. So we’re simplifying it. We’re helping people understand what it means to buy a home.

“We’re making good progress when it comes to closing the minority home ownership gap. Home ownership is high in America today, and that’s good for the country. The more people own something, the more they have a stake in the future of this country.”

Bush gave the speech in New Hampshire, where voters this week turned out for the presidential campaign primaries.

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