Mayor Marion Barry and D.C. Housing and Community Development Director Robert L. Moore recently honored 403 lower-income families that purchased homes with the help of city assistance programs.

Among those honored were former public housing tenants Jennie Mayes and her daughter, Brenda, who purchased a 10-room house at 132 Q St. NW. Mayes, a counselor at a home for the mentally retarded, received a $10,000 down payment for the house under the city's Home Purchase Assistance Program.

"I think it's very beneficial to people like myself," said Mayes, 42. "If the program wasn't in existence, we would never have been able to own our own home."

Walter Booth, president of the 24-unit Bryant Street Cooperative in Northeast Washington, accepted an award for the cooperative at the ceremony. Tenants purchased their building in October for $230,000 with the help of legal and technical assistance provided by the city, as well as with about $52,000 in financial aid to individuals.

Over 3,100 families have bought their homes under the $18.5-million program. The families honored Saturday bought their single-family homes under a variety of assistance programs. Another 2,700 families purchased their homes under city assistance programs when rental buildings were converted to tenant cooperatives.