66.8 percent of Americans owned their own home


February 06, 2000

Homeownership reached a record last year as 66.8 percent of Americans owned their own home -- more than in any previous year in the nation's history.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the homeownership rate has risen steadily over the last decade, climbing from 64 percent in 1993 to 66.3 percent in 1998 and then on to the 1999 record.

"Homeownership has always been the American dream, and now the dream is becoming a reality for more of our people," said HUD Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo.

As a result of a growing U.S. population's inclination toward homeownership, 70.1 million families owned homes in 1999, and African-American and Hispanic homeownership rates continued growing twice as fast as the white homeownership rate.

A total of 40 percent of the net new homeowners since 1994 are minorities -- even though minorities account for 24 percent of the population, according to HUD.

There were 57.7 million white, 6 million African-American, 4.2 million Hispanic and 2.2 million Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander homeowners in 1999 -- all record highs, according to Census Bureau statistics.

"While we've made important strides in increasing minority homeownership, the homeownership gap dividing whites and minorities remains far too wide," Cuomo added.

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