of Raines’ goals is to increase the number of African American homeowners. African Americans, followed closely by Hispanic Americans, continue to struggle to become homeowners. More than 47% of African Americans are homeowners compared to 74.8% of white Americans, according to fourth quarter 2002 homeownership rates reported by the U.S. Census Bureau (see Facts & Figures, this issue). As part of its 10-point plan to increase minority homeownership, the housing giant also aims to provide home financing to 4.6 million minority households by investing at least $700 billion through 2009.
“We are very strong and fair in expanding opportunities for homeownership to minorities, to young people, to single moms,” explains Raines, whose fatherâ€“a man with good financial historyâ€“couldn’t get a mortgage loan for more than four years. “One of the most important things you can do for your future is to become a homeowner. It’s the basis of wealth for most Americans.”
According to UBS’ Gordon, the weak economy has more banks financing more home mortgage loans, which generally is safer than a business loan, causing more competition for Fannie Mae. But despite the added competition, the analyst foresees a good year ahead for the home mortgage company, which should keep Raines smiling.