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1) HUD Homeownership subsidy
2) FNMA Zero-down loans
3) Vouchers Enable Low-Income HomeOwnership
4) Home Ownership: Pipe Dream or a New Reality
5) Daly Plan Pitifully Inadequate
6) May 16 HomeOwnership Debate in San Francisco
7) NAACP Minority HomeOwnership Program
8) Ellis/OMI/Costa Hawkins protections
9)Policy Hurts Immigrants
10)Home Ownership Causes HH Wealth
11)Class War and the Poverty Trap
12) Home Ownership Program for Equity

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PRESS RELEASE
From the Affordable HomeOwnership Alliance

June 11, 2001

Followup or questions to Adria Pulizzano 415-861-0777

“Class Warfare” Alive and Kicking in San Francisco:
 SF Policy Perpetuates Paycheck-to-Paycheck Poverty Trap

Recently released HUD research shows that the principal way for low-mid-income families, immigrants and minorities to escape the paycheck-to-paycheck poverty trap, and break into the middle class, is via homeownership. According to HUD’s Urban Policy Brief, equity in a home is the largest single source of wealth for most families, and is an increasingly important economic hurdle in American society. Homeowner families have a staggering 34 times the average net wealth of renter families, according to HUD!

“Homeownership marks the great divide between the haves and the have-nots. But San Francisco has declared war on those who aspire to the middle class dream of homeownership”, declared Sarosh D. Kumana, President of the Affordable HomeOwnership Alliance (AHA), a non-partisan homeownership advocacy group. “By only allowing 200 tenant families to become homeowners every year, tens of thousands of families are condemned to a marginal existence. This sort of class warfare against the poor perpetuates an economic underclass.

San Francisco’s homeownership policy has resulted in the lowest homeownership rate of any US city of comparable size. SF’s homeownership rate, an abysmally low 34%, compares unfavorably to the national average of 68%.

Using the excuse of “diminution of rental housing stock”, vested interests have promoted anti-homeownership regulations to prevent tenants from buying the apartments they already live in, even when the owner is willing to sell to the tenant.

“This policy subverts the needs and interests of the very tenants that policymakers purport to protect,” says Kumana. “Tenants would prefer to be homeowners, rather than continue as tenants in a rent-controlled apartment. But they are not allowed that choice. City policy and regulations should not be the barrier. Bring choice back into housing!”

“Anti-homeownership policy has created our housing crisis,” Kumana charges. “Some vested interests derive their power and income from keeping tenants in rent-slavery. Obviously they would oppose effective homeownership programs that enable tenants to become homeowners.”

Said Carol Ruth Silver, former San Francisco Supervisor, who, during her term  on the Board of Supervisors was one of the co-authors of rent control with Harvey Milk, “AHA’s HomeOwnership for Tenants proposal (HOT), would increase homeownership while reducing evictions, and includes a self-funding mechanism to help low-income, elderly and disabled families to achieve the homeownership they could never otherwise afford.”

Details about AHA’s HomeOwnership for Tenants (HOT) proposal are available at
http://www.affordable-homeownership.org/



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