Last June, I issued a challenge to everyone involved in the housing industry to help increase the number of minority families to be home owners. And what I'm talking about, I'm talking about your bankers and your brokers and developers, as well as members of faith-based community and community programs. And the response to the home owners challenge has been very strong and very gratifying. Twenty-two public and private partners have signed up to help meet our national goal. Partners in the mortgage finance industry are encouraging homeownership by purchasing more loans made by banks to African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities.<quoted text>I want to say this one more time, and I want to thank again all the people here from the private sector who have worked with Secretary Cisneros on this: Our home ownership strategy will not cost the taxpayers one extra cent. It will not require legislation. It will not add more Federal programs or grow Federal bureaucracy.
Representatives of the real estate and homebuilding industries, through their nationwide networks or affiliates, are committed to broadening homeownership. They made the commitment to help meet the national goal we set.
Freddie Mae -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- I see the heads who are here; I want to thank you all for coming --(laughter)-- have committed to provide more money for lenders. They've committed to help meet the shortage of capital available for minority home buyers.
Fannie Mae recently announced a $50 million program to develop 600 homes for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Franklin, I appreciate that commitment. They also announced $12.7 million investment in a condominium project in Harlem. It's the beginnings of a series of initiatives to help meet the goal of 5.5 million families. Franklin told me at the meeting where we kicked this office, he said, I promise you we will help, and he has, like many others in this room have done.
Freddie Mac recently began 25 initiatives around the country to dismantle barriers and create greater opportunities for homeownership. One of the programs is designed to help deserving families who have bad credit histories to qualify for homeownership loans. Freddie Mac is also working with the Department of Defense to promote construction and financing for housing for men and women in the military.
There's all kinds of ways that we can work together to meet the goal. Corporate America has a responsibility to work to make America a compassionate place. Corporate America has responded. As an example -- only one of many examples -- the good folks at Sears and Roebuck have responded by making a five-year,$100 million commitment to making homeownership and home maintenance possible for millions of Americans.
There have been other steps that are being taken to close the homeownership gap. And you've heard some of the stories here today, people much more eloquent than me, to talk about what's taking place on the front line of meeting this national goal.