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AMERIDREAM CELEBRATES NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH WITH RECORD NUMBER DOWN PAYMENT GIFTS
-- Non-Profit Has Helped 65,000 Families Become Homeowners –

WASHINGTON, DC (June 11, 2002) -- As events unfold across the country to celebrate National Homeownership Month, The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. today announced that in just three years of existence, it has helped more than 65,000 Americans buy their own homes, many for the first time.  AmeriDream also set a monthly record by giving 4,554 down payment gifts in May 2002 alone.  At this pace, AmeriDream would help more than 100,000 families achieve the American dream of homeownership by the end of 2002.

Established in 1999, The AmeriDream Charity’s mission is to expand homeownership opportunities for underserved groups and promote the value of homeownership as the foundation for building strong communities and individual prosperity.  Through its Downpayment Gift Program, AmeriDream provides gift funds for down payment and closing costs to low- and moderate-income homebuyers who were previously shut out of the housing market simply because they did not have the money needed at settlement. 

“AmeriDream’s phenomenal growth just underscores the overwhelming need for housing assistance programs of this kind,” said Christopher Russell, CEO of The AmeriDream Charity, Inc.  “With such low interest rates, we are seeing a surge in the number of people across the country who can qualify for a mortgage, but who just need a little help at the settlement table.  Our role is to eliminate the down payment barrier, clearing the way for thousands to start down the path toward financial prosperity through homeownership.”

Russell noted that the Downpayment Gift Program is currently helping more than 4,000 families buy homes each month, and he expects that number to top 5,000 during the month of June.  He points to the simplicity, efficiency and professionalism of the AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program as reasons for its unparalleled success.

The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program is available nationwide.  To participate, potential homebuyers must qualify for a mortgage loan and must purchase a home enrolled in the AmeriDream program.  “The process is very easy for buyers and sellers alike,” said Russell.  “Lenders and Realtors know they can rely on AmeriDream to be responsive to their needs and to keep the process moving forward all the way to closing.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has designated June as National Homeownership Month to celebrate and increase opportunities for homeownership for all Americans.  To learn more about what HUD is doing across the country as part of this celebration, visit http://www.hud.gov/initiatives/homeownership/index.cfm.  To learn more about how AmeriDream expands homeownership opportunities throughout the year, visit http://www.ameridreamcharity.org.

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The mission of The AmeriDream Charity, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD, is to expand homeownership opportunities for underserved groups and promote the value of homeownership as the foundation for building strong communities and individual prosperity.   A 501(c)(3) organization, The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. meets HUD requirements for FHA insured loans as a charitable organization.  In addition to The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program, the Charity also operates The AmeriDream Redevelopment Program in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD areas. Through the Redevelopment Program, AmeriDream has spent more than $2.4 million to rehabilitate properties and return them to the market at affordable prices. The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. has also donated nearly $900,000 to a range of community organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.