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WASHINGTON-On Dec. 16, NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar attended the signing of the American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003 celebrated at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “As a result of President Bush’s commitment for more Americans to achieve the American Dream of owning their own home, and with strong congressional support from both sides of the aisle, 40,000 families a year are a significant step closer to realizing their dream as a result of this legislation,” Dollar stated. “As a partner in the Blueprint for the American Dream initiative with HUD, NCUA strongly supported this legislation and commends the leadership of former Secretary Mel Martinez, as well as many in Congress, who have worked vigorously to provide more Americans with access to vital down payment assistance.” He continued, “We know often the greatest barrier to homeownership is the lack of a considerable down payment. This is an important piece of legislation that will provide $200 million in downpayment assistance to 40,000 families a year.” Dollar also noted NCUA’s success with the Access Across America program that focuses on economic empowerment for those of modest means. On the day of the bill signing, the Consumer Federation of America announced the launching of its new “Build Wealth Through Homeownership” initiative under CFA’s American Saves campaign to help low-and moderate-income households save and build wealth. At the same time, CFA released a study which found that more than half of the personal wealth held by lower income and minority homeowners is from home equity and that their wealth is greater than non-home owning households (see related story page 20).

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