The Census Bureau released data today showing that a new national home ownership record was set in 2004. The new annual rate of 69 percent surpasses the previous record of 68.3 set in 2003. The fourth-quarter rate of 69.2 percent ties the all-time record set in the second quarter of 2004 and means there are now 74.4 million American families who own their own homes.

Minority homeowners set a new record annual rate of 51 percent in 2004, and minorities also set a new quarterly home-ownership record of 51.4 percent in the fourth quarter. There are now 15.5 million minority homeowners in the United States.

“These numbers show that housing is still leading the way in our rapidly recovering economy. President Bush is committed to building on these accomplishments so that people from every walk of life can have the opportunity to become homeowners,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

In 2005, the Bush administration will propose legislation that aims to further boost home ownership by creating a Zero Downpayment Mortgage option in FHA. HUD will also ask Congress to enact a Homeownership Tax Credit that will encourage the production of homes for moderate-income families.

HUD is a federal agency that implements housing policy.

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