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Affordability Challenges Housing Professionals

ICBA's Fine Discusses Affordable Housing Strategies that Are Working

Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2005) - Independent Community Bankers of America President and CEO and Homeownership Alliance Chairman Camden R. Fine told the Homeownship Alliance that affordability remains one of the most daunting challenges faced by families seeking a home of their own.

"One of the major issues of the past year has been the lack of affordable homeownership opportunities. Affordability indicators show family income growth trails the price growth of the median home," said Fine during the Chairman's Luncheon of the Alliance held in Washington, D.C.

Fine said that the housing market remains strong with sales of new single-family homes increasing 9 percent between October 2004 and October 2005, and sales of existing single-family homes increasing 7 percent between September 2004 and September 2005. At the same time, the nation's homeownership rate slipped slightly from 69 percent to 68.8 percent during the 2005 third quarter.

Fine said Homeownership Alliance members can take advantage of successful affordable homeownership strategies. The Alliance compiled a report entitled Affordable Homes: Best Practices for America which identifies alternatives to encourage widespread, lasting progress in putting families in homes they can afford. ICBA is working to ensure that community banks have the programs and tools to promote homeownership, particularly for minorities, new Americans, and those in the nation's rural areas. ICBA views affordable homeownership as another way to enhance the stability and economic well-being of communities across the nation.

Fine also noted that the Alliance set up a comprehensive and detailed web page available through www.homeownershipalliance.com where those who were displaced by the devastating hurricane season or who know of someone displaced by the hurricanes can find valuable and timely advice.

The Homeownership Alliance is an organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting expanded homeownership opportunities for all Americans. The Alliance is dedicated to making homeownership a national priority by supporting those positive developments that expand and increase opportunities to affordable housing.