June Is National Homeownership Month!
National Homeownership Month is in June. It celebrates the value that owning a home brings to families, communities, and neighborhoods across America. By becoming a homeowner, people get a step closer to the American dream. This month also shares the joys of being a homeowner, which can encourage others to achieve the same thing.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH
Most Americans had no way of really owning a home in the 1800s. Mortgages became common only after the U.S. banking system came into being after the 1860s National Bank Acts.
During the time of the Great Depression, the banks did not have any money to lend and the average borrower didn’t have any cash. As a result, people couldn’t afford to buy homes, while existing homeowners often failed to pay their debt. To stabilize the housing market, the U.S. government created the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation in 1933, the Federal Housing Administration in 1934, and the Federal National Mortgage Association (now known as Fannie Mae) in 1938. All these institutions took homeownership to new heights and helped prevent a crash in the housing market.
What changed the face of the housing industry, along with that of the American economy, was the G.I. Bill of 1944. This bill provided subsidized mortgages for the veterans of World War II. Another milestone in the history of American housing came when Congress passed the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and banned discrimination in housing based on religion, race, gender, and national origin. It came into being only a few days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In its 87 years of existence, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has saved America an almost $4 trillion loss of household wealth. It has helped more than 44 million citizens to become homeowners.
National Homeownership Week began in 1995, which was a strategy of the administration under President Bill Clinton to increase homeownership across America. Later, in 2002, President George W. Bush expanded the period of observance from a week to the entire month of June. National Homeownership Month reinforces the belief that owning a home is one of the steps towards achieving the American dream.
HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH
Showcase local projects to officials
Invite local officials, be it virtually or in person, to your area. Show them or let them know about the latest housing developments that are using eco-friendly building techniques and other new technologies.
Educate local home buyers
Organize a housing forum (virtually or in-person) to bring together the public and housing experts to talk about the state of housing in your locality. It can be an economist from a nearby college, a mortgage banker, or a realtor.
Get your community involved
Organize or participate in a community service project. Help build a shelter, host a donation venture, repair a playground, and carry out other similar acts that benefit your community.
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