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WORK TO BEGIN ON AFFORDABLE SINGLE-FAMILY HOME DEVELOPMENT IN MANATEE COUNTY, FLORIDA
-AmeriDream, Inc., in partnership with Community Outreach Restoration Center and Home Front, Inc., to build 14 new homes-

Gaithersburg, MD (April 8, 2004) – AmeriDream, Inc., the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of affordable homeownership opportunities, in partnership with Community Outreach Restoration Center of Bradenton, FL, and Home Front, Inc. of Venice, FL, announced it will build a 14-home affordable housing development in a blighted section of the Washington Park subdivision in Palmetto, FL. Groundbreaking is expected to begin this summer.

AmeriDream became the developer of the project when it stepped in to assist Community Outreach with a $156,000 loan to offer affordable housing in the community. At that time, AmeriDream, Community Outreach, which is headed by Rev. Dexter McDonald, and Home Front came up with the building plan to help bring stability back to the community. Home Front offered its innovative building system at a reduced price to help give the project a boost.

In a letter of support for the development, Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) said: “I write to express my strong support for Rev. Dexter McDonald of Manatee County and the work he is doing with AmeriDream to help provide affordable housing in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. The Reverend’s tireless efforts will enable our constituents of Manatee County to have what every person deserves: a clean, safe, and affordable home.” 

The homes, which will be priced no higher than $115,000, will feature three bedroom/two bathroom/one-car garage floorplans totaling approximately 1,100 square feet. These affordable homes will be built with a highly energy-efficient building system that will result in lower energy costs and maintenance for their owners. Additionally, AmeriDream will offer closing cost assistance to the purchasers, and it will make available its free online homebuying course to educate potential homebuyers on the process of buying a home and the responsibilities of homeownership.

The Washington Park development is supported by elected officials and local groups. AmeriDream, Community Outreach and Home Front wish to invite members of the local community to hear more information about the development and voice their opinions in a community meeting that will be held on April 15 at 11:30 am at the Twin Dolphin Marina Grill (1200 1st Ave., W.) in Bradenton. Project partners, community leaders, Manatee County government officials, representatives from the Coalition for Affordable Housing and community religious leaders are also expected to be in attendance. 

“We are very proud of this project,” said AmeriDream Executive Vice President  and Chief Development Officer Robert Newman. “Not only are we able to provide these 14 homes at an affordable price to people who may have otherwise not had an opportunity to own a home, but we are helping to improve a community that has suffered from neglect and rising crime rates. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Due to the community betterment nature of the development, and because both AmeriDream and Community Outreach wish to keep the prices of the homes as affordable as possible, the partners are seeking donations from the community in the form of new building materials; such as windows and doors, drywall, flooring, interior paint and appliances, as well as services (such as carpentry and plumbing) and funds. All donations are tax deductible. For a complete list of needed supplies, to donate or to get more information, contact AmeriDream’s Vice President of Redevelopment David Hintz at 1-866-AMERIDREAM or by email at dhintz@ameridream.org.   

Community Outreach’s mission is to build strong family values within the community and enable its youth to become productive citizens. AmeriDream works to promote the value of homeownership as a strong foundation that supports lasting communities and individual prosperity. AmeriDream’s Redevelopment Program builds new affordable housing and renovates existing homes, putting them back on the market at prices that are affordable to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. AmeriDream also operates several other programs in support of its mission, including a home retention program – AmeriDream Solutions – which provides guidance to homeowners who experience financial difficulties by working with them and their mortgage companies to make sure all alternatives are examined in an effort to prevent foreclosure. AmeriDream also operates The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program, which provides up to 10 percent of a home’s purchase price toward a down payment or closing costs; and through its Community Link Program, AmeriDream has donated more than $1.75 million in charitable contributions back to communities nationwide. For more information on AmeriDream, visit www.ameridream.org.

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The mission of 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. AmeriDream, Inc. is a non-profit, publicly supported organization that is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). AmeriDream, Inc. meets the requirements for a charitable organization, as referenced in the HUD Handbook 4155.1 REV-4, CHG-1 Section 2-10 for FHA insured loans.  In addition to The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program, AmeriDream also operates The AmeriDream Redevelopment Program in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and Florida, and the Community Link Program nationwide. Through the Redevelopment Program, AmeriDream has spent more than $11 million to rehabilitate properties and return them to the market at affordable prices. Through Community Link, AmeriDream has donated more than $1.5 million to a range of community organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, the Victims Rights Foundation and the Hatteras Island Rebuilding Fund.