The Bush administration will continue to push for a federally insured zero-downpayment program to provide teachers, nurses, and police officers the opportunity to own their homes, according to Housing Secretary Alfonso Jackson."I truly believe it is in our best interest to push" for zero-downpayment legislation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary told a housing conference sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and Freddie Mac. He acknowledged that there are concerns about high default rates that stalled zero-down legislation earlier this year. "If we can make this work, you will see very little defaults," the HUD secretary predicted. As a member of JPMorgan Chase's board of directors, the secretary said he learned that most upper-income people use second mortgages to cover the downpayment on their homes. "That's a zero downpayment," he said. Mr. Jackson stressed that most low- and middle- income persons will do whatever it takes to keep their homes. "I have an abiding faith that if we can provide the opportunities for people to own their homes, they will keep those homes," the secretary said.

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