WASHINGTON-President George W. Bush traveled last week toDuniba, Calif. to speak about the economy, the strong housingmarket, and his homeownership agenda. Due to increasing homevalues, American homeowners are enjoying $3 trillion more inhousing wealth than in 2000. At the same time, the president urgedthe Senate to pass The American Dream Downpayment Act, which isaimed at helping approximately 40,000 families with downpayment andclosing costs each year. In June 2002, President Bush announced hisintention of increasing minority homeownership by at least 5.5million by the end of the decade. As a Blueprint Partner, NCUA hasplayed a role in achieving that goal. By systematicallystreamlining its regulations, including its field of membershippolicies, the agency is helping credit unions offer services to alarger potential group of members, and therefore minorities.Additionally, NCUA began its Access Across America initiative thatencourages credit unions to adopt underserved areas. In 2002, 424underserved areas were adopted by credit unions-the largest numberever-to a total of nearly 24 million potential members. The agencyalso allows credit unions to reach out to more underserved areasthrough its Community Development Revolving Loan Fund and byencouraging partnerships with NeighborWorks Organizations, amongother activities.

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