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September 4, 1998

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New Economic Numbers Confirm Strength Of American Economy. Today, job numbers were released showing that the American economy added 365,000 new jobs in the month of August and that the unemployment rate remained stable at 4.5 percent -- as low as unemployment has been since 1970. Under the leadership of President Clinton and Vice President Gore:

  • 16.7 Million New Jobs Have Been Created;
  • Unemployment has remained below 5 percent for 14 consecutive months for the first time in 28 years;
  • Strongest Real Wage Growth In Over Two Decades;
  • The First Projected Budget Surplus Since 1969.


Good neighbors help create good neighborhoods. When police officers move into the area, criminals want to move out and families want to move in. The presence of police officers can plant the seeds of revitalization to transform struggling communities into thriving neighborhoods, attracting new businesses and jobs.

Vice President Al Gore
September 4, 1998

Today, at a White House ceremony marking the 2,000th police officer to participate in the "Officer Next Door" program, Vice President Al Gore announced that the program, which enables law enforcement officers to buy homes at half-price in distressed neighborhoods, will expand to serve 1,000 more officers and cut mortgage costs by up to several thousand dollars per officer.

A Program To Bring Police Officers Closer To The Community. The "Officer Next Door" program, which is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sells homes it has acquired through foreclosure on defaulted mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to law enforcement officers at half off the FHA-listed price. Each participating officer signs a contract agreeing to live in the home for at least three years. HUD has designated over 500 neighborhoods as revitalization areas for this program. These areas are typically home to low- and moderate-income families, have many vacant properties, and often have high crime rates, but are considered good candidates for economic development and improvement. This program has gained the support of 10 law enforcement groups representing over 500,000 officers.

Working With Lenders To Bring More Officers Into The Community. At today's event, the Vice President announced that the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) will urge its nearly 3,000 member lenders to give law enforcement officers moving into eligible neighborhoods a choice of mortgage discounts: either a half-point cut in closing costs (an immediate $500 savings on a typical $100,000 mortgage), or a one-eighth-point cut in interest rates over the life of the mortgage (a $3,000 savings over 30 years on a $100,000 mortgage).

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