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WASHINGTON – Despite record-low mortgage rates and an overall rise in the U.S. homeownership rate, findings from a recently released study show homeownership rates for low- and moderate-income working families have declined since the late 1970s. The paper, “Working Families with Children: A Closer Look at Homeownership Trends, May 2004″ conducted by The Center for Housing Policy – the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference – looks at homeownership rates from 1978-2001 and suggests that one of the reasons for this is that incomes for working families haven’t kept pace with the soaring increase in home prices, “highlighting a need for government to promote construction of more affordable homes,” the Center said. According to the report, 68% of all U.S. households were homeowners in 2001, up from 65.2% in 1978. However, the homeownership rate for families with children was 68.4% in 2001, down from 70.5% in 1978. Homeownership rates for working families – those who work the equivalent of a full-time job and earn between the full-time minimum wage of $10,712 a year and up to 120% of an area’s median income – was 56% in 2001, down from 62.5% The Center for Housing Policy estimates there are 4.4 million “working poor” households in the U.S.

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