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AMERIDREAM RENOVATES FORMER DC CRACK HOUSE TO BRING NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO NATION'S CAPITAL

-- Local Charity Renovates Old Apartment Building Providing Nearly 40 Families With New Home Opportunities --


Halley PlaceWASHINGTON, DC (July 15, 2002) The AmeriDream, Inc. today unveiled 36 renovated condominium homes in Southeast Washington, DC, in what was once a burned-out, drug-infested apartment building.  Stan Jackson, director of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (pictured left), and DC Councilmember Jack Evans were on hand at Halley View Condominiums at 10-14 Halley Place, SE, to celebrate the first finished condominiums and to welcome first-time homebuyer Catrina Griggs to her future home.

“When it was originally built back in the 1960s, Halley View was an apartment building where families lived safely,” said AmeriDream CEO Christopher Russell.  “But in recent years the building had deteriorated into nothing more than a burned-out shell that was completely unlivable and a source of illegal drug activity.  AmeriDream is proud to have played a part in helping to restore this building, bringing back quality, affordable homes where they had long since disappeared.”   

The AmeriDream Redevelopment Program, in partnership with the Charles Black Management Halley PlaceCompany, began renovating the property in the fall of 2001.  The work on Halley View included exterior work such as trash and graffiti removal, landscaping and parking lot resurfacing; building work such as new roofs, windows, ductwork and painting; safety work such as installing lighted exit signs, fire alarms and smoke detectors through the buildings; and interior work on each individual home such as completely new kitchens and bathrooms, replacing electrical circuitry and appliances, and repairing or replacing flooring, tiling, molding and drywall.

The celebration of the Halley View property comes at a significant time for AmeriDream, as it has recently been approved to participate in DC Mayor Anthony Williams’ “Home Again Initiative,” a program to encourage redevelopment of an estimated 4,000 vacant and abandoned properties across the District of Columbia.  Speaking on behalf of the mayor, Jackson praised AmeriDream’s redevelopment work in the District, and indicated that “we look forward to our continued partnership as we expand homeownership opportunities for more and more of our residents, who otherwise, without our support and programs like this, would never be able to achieve the American dream.”

Halley PlaceThe rehabilitated building on Halley Place features a total of 36 condominiums, including six one-bedrooms, 24 two-bedrooms and six three-bedroom homes.  Ms. Griggs, a single mother of two young boys, cut a ribbon at today’s ceremony to lead guests into the open models, including a two-bedroom home similar to one she will be purchasing that is in the final stages of renovation.  A first-time homebuyer who has until recently resided with her mother in Maryland and made the daily commute into DC for her job with the DC government, Ms. Griggs was thrilled at the sight of her new home.

“More important than the renovated building itself are the people like Catrina who are going to call Halley Place home,” said Ryan Hill, president of The AmeriDream, Inc.  “The sense of community and pride fostered by new homeowners is what makes revitalization work.”

The newly renovated homes are for sale at prices ranging from $69,000 to $99,000, and are available to homebuyers who meet FHA qualifications for a mortgage.  The majority of those who purchase the Halley View condos will qualify for the DC Lower Income Homeownership Exemption Program, which waives real estate taxes for the first five years of homeownership.  Additionally, gift funds to meet down payment and closing costs are being provided by The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program.

In addition to the Halley View property (pictured above), AmeriDream and Charles Black Management Company are completing work on an 18-unit building located on D Street, SE.  This property is expected to be completed later this fall and is priced similarly to the Halley Place property.

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The mission of The AmeriDream, 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, 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, Inc. has also donated more than $1.5 million to a range of community organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.