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 MIAMI, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to increase housing opportunities for all residents of Dade County, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) (NYSE: FNM), the nation's largest source of home mortgage funds, today announced that the Miami-Dade community has been selected as one of the initial 10 cities in which Fannie Mae will open a Partnership Office.
 The announcement was made by Fannie Mae's President and Chief Operating Officer, Lawrence M. Small, at a news conference today with Metro-Dade County Board of Commissioners Chairman Arthur E. Teele, Jr., and city of Miami Mayor Stephen P. Clark at the Metro-Dade Cultural Arts Center.
 The new office -- working closely with local mortgage lenders, community groups, nonprofit housing organizations, and local governments -- will focus on the unmet housing needs of the area's low- and moderate-income families, new immigrants, minority residents, and distressed communities.
 Small said, "By working closer with leaders in the community dedicated to housing, together we can find new ways to meet the unique needs of the Miami- Dade area." He noted the first effort of the new Partnership Office will be to identify the county and local government's housing needs and with them create a long-term investment plan utilizing Fannie Mae's various resources.
 Small said that Fannie Mae buys mortgages from approximately 170 lenders operating locally in the Miami metropolitan area. Last year, Fannie Mae acquired $1.9 billion of home loans in the greater Miami area, providing housing for more than 24,000 families.
 "It is important that low- and middle-income residents of the Miami- Dade area have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing," Senator Connie Mack said. "I thank Fannie Mae and support this private sector initiative."
 "The Metro Dade County Commission and Fannie Mae share a common vision -- creation of accessible, affordable housing for all qualified home buyers in every walk of life," said Arthur E. Teele, chairman of the Metro Dade County Commission. "By creating local partnerships through Fannie Mae's new Partnership Office, we will work together to eliminate discrimination and information barriers to homeownership in the Miami-Dade County area."
 "The city of Miami is committed to working with Fannie Mae to increase homeownership opportunities in Miami through their new Partnership Office," Mayor Steven Clark said. "Homeownership is a vital part of the American Dream, and many Miamians have been priced out or shut out of the market without realizing there is help available to them. This new partnership will enable those home buyers to move into the home they want and, as homeowners, create the community that up until now, has only been a dream."
 Fannie Mae's Miami-Dade area Partnership Office will be among the first in the nation. In March 1994, the company announced a $1 trillion commitment to help finance by the end of the decade more than 10 million homes for families and communities most in need. As part of the initiative, called "Showing America a New Way Home," Fannie Mae announced it would open 25 partnership offices in cities, rural areas, and other underserved communities, with 10 designated in 1994. So far this year, Fannie Mae has announced that it will open partnership offices in Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, San Antonio, and Washington, DC.
 "Fannie Mae's commitment to Miami-Dade County is to make affordable housing more accessible," Small said. "Our new Partnership Office will work closely with our lenders and others to develop and implement a long-term outreach effort to put more people on a path to buying a home. We will look for new ways to build partnerships to help close the homeownership gap in the Miami area."
 Small noted that according to 1990 Census data, the homeownership rate in the Miami-Dade County area is significantly below the national overall rate of 64.2 percent. The overall homeownership rate in the Miami-Dade area is just 54.3 percent, and among minorities, the disparity is even greater. In the metropolitan area, only 44.7 percent of African-Americans and 48.2 percent of Hispanic residents own their own homes.
 In addition, Fannie Mae has launched a number of consumer outreach efforts to help consumers overcome barriers to homeownership, often caused by a lack of information and fear of the home-buying process. For the last three years, Fannie Mae's annual National Housing Survey has shown that people who don't understand the home-buying process are afraid of it and avoid it. The 1994 survey also revealed that eight in ten (84 percent) renters would prefer to own a home and that insufficient information on the mortgage loan process is a barrier to homeownership for 33 percent of them.
 Home buyers who are interested in receiving information on Fannie Mae's affordable home loan products as well as a list of Fannie Mae- approved lenders in the Miami-Dade area can call 1-800-7FANNIE for more information.
 Fannie Mae is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company and the nation's largest source of home mortgage funds. It has committed to provide $1 trillion in targeted lending for 10 million homes by the end of the decade. The targeted lending will serve low- and moderate-income families, minorities, new immigrants, residents of central cities and other underserved areas, and people who have special housing needs.
 -0- 9/30/94
 /CONTACT: Charlotte Sterling, 202-752-7928, or Kevin Hawkins, 202-752-6720, both of Fannie Mae/

CO: Federal National Mortgage Association ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:

IH-KW -- DC005 -- 9608 09/30/94 10:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1994

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