Making a House a Home

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The effort to boost minority homeownership continues. Just recently the Fanny Mae Foundation, the nation's largest mortgage lender, unveiled a plan to increase the minority ownership level from its current 49 percent to 55 percent over the next ten years.

Locally, the executive director of the Meridian Housing Authority says that it too has plans of increasing their own numbers in the near future.

"In this minority community, we have interest in owning a home, so it is our job to help them," said Derwin Jackson. "The opportunity to find ways to be less dependent on the government."

The "Family Self Sufficient" program, allows the resident to put part of the rent he or she pays to the housing authority into an escrow account to be used as a down payment on a home in the future.

Jackson says that, of the residents who come in for their assistance, over 98 percent are minorities.

Jackson says that the department in the past has tried to enact similar programs without much success, but he's hopeful the new programs will turn that around.