WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson unveiled the Bush administration's 2008 budget $35.2 billion request on Monday as the agency seeks to expand homeownership, promote affordable housing, and assist homeless individuals and families.

"This budget continues President Bush's deep commitment to build an ownership society while recognizing the need to promote affordable housing programs across the country," said Jackson. "In addition, the President is making certain that HUD's budget once again includes record funding for those who might otherwise be living on our streets. Our budget reflects the President's goal to support what works and cut the Federal budget deficit by prioritizing funding towards programs with measurable, documented results."

The $35.2 billion represents a record $1.6 billion (or 4.5 percent) increase over Bush's proposed spending plan for 2007.

"Everybody here is very pleased in the current budget climate we find ourselves," HUD Spokesperson Brian Sullivan told Builder Online.

According to Jackson, HUD's FY 2008 spending blueprint will support expanding homeownership, aiding the homeless and increasing rental assistance for low-income families.

In addition, HUD is looking to transform the Federal Housing Administration by making it more user friendly while qualifying more families for prime lending. The 2008 FHA plan is based on the 2007 model but since there is a new Congress, the plan is being reintroduced.

The 2008 Hud budget (PDF)