In my travels across the country, I often talk about the "Perfect Storm" of opportunity that's now available to millions of Americans through the use of the FHA 203k Renovation Loan Program. What's important to recognize is that while a renovation loan is an ideal solution for many of these distressed properties, this a solution that is not just for REO's and short sales. Millions of homes bought and sold across America today, and long into the future, will benefit from the use of renovation financing.
Certainly, one of the components of this perfect storm is the abundance of foreclosures and short sales properties. And although we use the term "distressed properties" to refer to these homes in financial distress, an unfortunate reality is that so many of these homes are distressed in the sense that they are in disrepair, poorly maintained, unsafe, unhealthy. We hear stories all the time of homes with the carpeting gone, furnaces gone, kitchens missing entirely! Where are all these kitchens going? People move out and the neighbors apparently have a field day tearing the house apart.
At the same time, a study done by National Association of Home Builders Study several years ago found that more than 80% of the homes in America are 20 years old or older. We're talking about more than 100 million homes that are 20, 50, even 150 years old or older -- and almost every single one of these homes need some amount of repair, renovation or remodeling. The reality is that while the market conditions today are driving a strong need for renovation loans, our REbuildUSA program will play an even more important role in the future of America's housing.
REbuildUSA was born as we, like many others, were searching for solutions to help us overcome the economic challenges of the past several years. Too many people were simply waiting for things to get better, or waiting for the Government to solve all of the problems. We were determined to find a solution we could bring to life ourselves -- a way to empower the housing industry to do something to make a difference.
Even more important for the long run, however, is our hope to find a way to protect one of our country's greatest assets -- our communities across America. These are the neighborhoods where our families live and the values of our children take shape. We can't continue to let homes and communities fall apart, breeding crime and despair.
REbuildUSA, on a fundamental level, is about protecting our communities and the future of America. And this is why we believe, as we serve the needs of this country in both the short and the long term, we're truly laying the groundwork for the future of real estate.