American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003
Expanding Homeownership Opportunities for All Americans
On December 16, 2003, President Bush signed into law the American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003, which will help approximately 40,000 families a year with their down payment and closing costs, and further strengthen America’s housing market. This legislation complements the President’s aggressive housing agenda announced in 2002 to dismantle the barriers to homeownership.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau released data showing that new home construction in November reached its highest level in nearly 20 years. Overall housing starts rose 4.5 percent from October and rose 17.6 percent from November of 2002. Single-family housing starts totaled 1,695,000 (SAAR) in November, up 3.3 percent from October and up 20.8 percent from November 2002 – a record for single-family starts.
The strong housing market is beneficial for communities across the Nation. America’s families have been refinancing due to the lowest mortgage rates in 45 years, saving hundreds of dollars a month on their home payments. The U.S. homeownership rate was 68.4% in the third quarter—its highest level ever.