Freddie Mac has launched a new program in an attempt to debunk misconceptions about home buying that may be contributing to a low rate of ownership in the Hispanic and African-American communities.

The program, launched this week in Miami as a joint effort of Freddie, Chase Home Finance, and local government entities, is entitled �Homeownership: Let the TRUTH Move You.�

According to research conducted by Freddie Mac, accurate information on home ownership is not reaching all communities. U.S. Census figures show that homeownership rates for Hispanic and African American households are 25 percent lower than the rates for non-minority households, and, while there is no solid cause and effect relationship, misinformation and lack of information may be contributing to the low rate.

Among the misconceptions cited by Freddie Mac are:

  • A homebuyer needs perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage
  • One cannot buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment
  • You must hold the same job for at least three years to qualify for a mortgage
  • People who do not have a checking or savings account cannot buy a home.

The new program will employ grassroots organizations to sponsor educational sessions and homebuyer counseling, and will utilize minority real estate associations in a referral system to assist prospective homebuyers work through the home buying process.