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Washington, DC (August 23, 2002)  The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. announced today that it has joined with other down payment assistance organizations to form a new industry association, the Homeownership Alliance of Nonprofit Downpayment Providers (HAND). 

HAND is made up of nonprofit organizations like AmeriDream that provide down payment gift funds to help thousands of Americans realize the dream of homeownership. Gifts generally range between two and five percent of the purchase price of the home. Buyers receiving gift funds do not have to repay the down payment gift. 

“We are proud to be among the founding members of this important organization,” said Chris Russell, CEO of AmeriDream and interim president of HAND.  “Our nation is facing a crisis in housing, and through HAND, we hope to promote public awareness of down payment assistance programs to increase homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income Americans who qualify for a mortgage but don’t have the money for a down payment.”
HAND’s initial goals include creating a buyer education program designed to help people understand the homebuying process and the financial aspects of maintaining a home after purchase; as well as establishing ethical standards to self-regulate the nonprofit down payment gift industry. These guidelines will ensure that the industry works toward reducing mortgage defaults and foreclosures and creating innovative affordable housing products. 

The association will serve as the premiere authority on the down payment industry, as well as a clearinghouse of information for the public, media and elected officials.
A charter member of HAND, AmeriDream is the one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing down payment gift providers.  In just three years of existence, AmeriDream alone has helped more than 70,000 Americans buy their own homes, by giving more than 4,000 down payment gifts each month.

In addition to AmeriDream, other founding members of HAND include American Family Funds, Inc., of Mobile, AL; Consumer Debt Solutions, Inc., of Highland, NY; The Genesis Program of Austin, TX; Home Buyers Assistance Foundation of Alpharetta, GA; and Neighborhood Gold of Orem, Utah. 


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 metropolitan area. Through the Redevelopment Program, AmeriDream has spent more than $8 million to rehabilitate properties and return them to the market at affordable prices. The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. has also donated more than $900,000 to a range of community organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.