The number of homeowners in the United States reached a new high in the third quarter, the Census Bureau reported Monday. There are now 73.7 million homeowners nationwide, more than at any time in history. This is 323,000 more than the previous high set in the second quarter of 2004 and almost 1.6 million more than in the third quarter of 2003, the Census Bureau reported.

Minority home ownership was also at an all-time high in the third quarter. There are now 15.2 million minority homeowners in the United States.

“These numbers combined with news that sales of previously owned homes jumped 3.1 percent in September, show that housing continues to lead the way in our rapidly recovering economy. President Bush is committed to building on these accomplishments because he believes that people from every walk of life should have the opportunity to become homeowners,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. “The President’s housing initiatives will break down the barriers and pave the way for more Americans, particularly minorities, to achieve that dream.”

In June, HUD announced $161.5 million in funding for the American Dream Downpayment Initiative, which aims to provide down payment and closing costs assistance to 40,000 low-income families a year. In March, HUD announced new adjustable-rate mortgage products that aim to make home ownership available to an additional 40,000 families annually. And in January, HUD announced the FHA Zero Down Payment Initiative, which, with the support of Congress, could generate an additional 150,000 home buyers in its first year.

HUD is a federal agency that implements housing policy.

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