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FANNIE MAE LAUNCHES INTENSIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM TO INCREASE HOMEOWNERSHIP FOR FAMILIES IN THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON AREA

 WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) (NYSE: FNM) today announced at simultaneous news conferences in Baltimore and Washington that, beginning next week, the two cities will be sites of the company's "Opening Doors" consumer education campaign designed to increase levels of homeownership.
 The "Opening Doors" campaign will begin May 24 with newspaper, television, and radio advertisements offering a free guide to homeownership. Consumers who call a toll-free number to receive the free guide will learn about the home-buying process, find out whether they are ready to buy a home, and learn how to prepare if they are not. Consumers also will receive the names of more than 45 area mortgage lenders who are working in partnership with Fannie Mae on this outreach as well as a list of counseling agencies that have agreed to support the effort by providing counseling to those who want it.
 Fannie Mae Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James A. Johnson said: "Our research shows that not having enough information about how to buy a home is a barrier to homeownership. Fannie Mae's most recent National Housing Survey, released last week, indicates that the more people know about how to buy a home, the more confidence they have in their ability to do so. By providing aspiring home buyers with critically needed information, our `Opening Doors' campaign will give them the tools they need to start the process."
 Fannie Mae's benchmark National Housing Survey, released in June 1992, revealed that a critical barrier to owning a home for young, minority, or lower income families is a lack of information and fear of the mortgage process. The company's 1993 National Housing Survey, released May 10, showed that compared to last year, there are dramatically increased levels of optimism about the prospects for homeownership. However, the 1993 National Housing Survey reveals that an absence of information about the process of buying a home correlates to a lack of confidence in one's ability to do so.
 -- While 58 percent of those who are comfortable with real estate terms believe this is a very good time to buy a home, only 42 percent of those with a low degree of comfort believe now is a good time to buy a home.
 -- While 67 percent of those renters who consider themselves knowledgeable about how to buy a home believe it is easier to become a home buyer this year compared to last; only 55 percent of those with less information agree.
 -- While 71 percent of those renters who are best informed are confident they could buy a home today, only 50 percent of those who are less informed agree.
 Johnson said: "Our campaign is designed for the first-time home buyer who needs help getting through what can be a very confusing and intimidating process. If consumers need guidance, aren't sure they can afford a home, or have had credit problems, the materials Fannie Mae will provide can help identify what steps they need to take. If consumers need one-on-one counseling, the consumer counseling groups in Washington and Baltimore with whom we're working will help prepare people for the mortgage process."
 The "Opening Doors" campaign was tested in Dallas/Fort Worth and Sacramento, Calif., in February and March 1993. As in these two cities, consumers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia who are interested in receiving Fannie Mae's free guide, Opening Doors To a Home of Your Own, should call Fannie Mae's special number, 800-688-HOME. Spanish-speaking consumers may call 800-782-2729.
 "When we tested the `Opening Doors' campaign in Dallas/Fort Worth and Sacramento, more than 25,000 consumers who needed information from Fannie Mae called our toll-free number to receive our free guide. We know from our experience that this campaign can put information about how to become a home buyer in the hands of those who need it," said Johnson.
 "We believe an intensive education effort aimed at potential home buyers can have a positive impact. We also know from working with lenders and counselors in both the Washington and Baltimore areas that these communities have a committed home-finance network," Johnson said.
 The campaign is designed for people earning less than the area's median income, which in the Washington area is $59,200, and in the Baltimore area $44,000; however, Johnson noted that the information provided should be valuable to all potential home buyers.
 Fannie Mae is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company and the nation's largest provider of home mortgage funds. Last year, the company funded mortgages for 2.9 million American families. Its headquarters is in Washington, DC.
 -0- 5/18/93
 /NOTE: A list of lenders and the counseling network participating in the "Opening Doors" campaign is available./
 /CONTACT: Tom Marder of Fannie Mae, 202-752-7608/
 (FNM)


CO: Fannie Mae ST: District of Columbia, Maryland IN: FIN SU: PDT

DC-IH -- DC015 -- 9721 05/18/93 11:32 EDT
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Date:May 18, 1993
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