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WASHINGTON – Self-Help, the Ford Foundation and Fannie Mae have not only successfully completed, but also exceeded, a five-year, $2 billion housing initiative launched in 1998 to provide affordable mortgages to 30,000 minority and low-income home buyers in the U.S., 14,500 of whom are in North Carolina. Building on the success of the initiative, Fannie Mae Chairman and CEO Franklin Raines announced Oct. 28 that the housing Government Sponsored Enterprise had committed to purchase an additional $2.5 billion in loans acquired by Self-Help over the next five years to serve an additional 35,000 families. The initiative by Self-Help, a nonprofit leading community development lender that includes affiliates Self-Help CU and Self-Help Ventures Fund, will focus on expanding homeownership opportunities for low-income rural families by targeting those areas of the country where these groups have migrated to for job opportunities. At a celebration in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 28 to mark the successful completion of the $2 billion initiative, Self-Help CEO Martin Eakes said, “For too long, many Americans were shut out of the economic mainstream. This initiative helps low-income and minority families build wealth and economic opportunity through owning their homes.” Eakes commended Fannie Mae and the Ford Foundation for sharing Self-Help’s vision to name homeownership a reality for nearly 30,000 families in the U.S. through the initiative. “Together we have helped prove that low-income families are creditworthy with low levels of losses and foreclosures, as documented in new research conducted by the initiative,” he added. Eakes was referring to a Ford Foundation/University of North Carolina study that showed that minorities and low-income families have a strong track record of repaying mortgages.

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