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Gaithersburg, MD (February 7, 2005) – In the midst of Black History Month, AmeriDream, the nation’s leader in providing affordable housing opportunities, continues its efforts to increase homeownership among underserved groups. 

Nearly one out of every five homebuyers AmeriDream helps is African American.  One homeowner, James McCollough Jr., of Hyattsville, Maryland, had been renting for 11 years before he was able to purchase a home through AmeriDream’s Downpayment Gift Program. 

“I wanted my own home and I wanted to be close to my job in Washington, DC. I quickly learned that homes in the District were more than I could afford. I was beginning to think it was not going to be possible for me to buy. I closed at the end of January [2001] … It changed everything! I am living in my dream-come-true. I'm truly blessed, and I'm grateful … to AmeriDream ..."

According to the latest data provided by U.S. Census Bureau, only 48.4% of African Americans own homes.  Yet, Caucasians have a much higher homeownership rate of 76.1%.  This significant gap in homeownership rates can be explained by the difficulty of saving up a large sum of money for a down payment and closing costs.  Many people can make timely rent payments, but don’t have the extra income needed to save for a home.  AmeriDream can provide a gift to the buyer to cover the down payment and/or closing costs that the buyer never has to repay. 

“We are proud to help so many families and individuals realize the dream of homeownership through our down payment assistance program. To date, AmeriDream has helped over 150,000 homebuyers become homeowners; approximately 28% being minorities,” said Ann Ashburn, AmeriDream’s CEO and President.  “AmeriDream provides numerous other programs, such as homebuyer education and mortgage payment protection, all aimed to help homebuyers get into homes and keep their homes.  AmeriDream is doing things right for America’s homebuyers.”

AmeriDream operates several programs in support of its mission of providing affordable homeownership opportunities to those who otherwise would not have been able to purchase a home.  In addition to down payment assistance, DreamKeeper mortgage payment relief, online homebuyer education courses and loss mitigation, The AmeriDream Redevelopment Program builds new, affordable homes and renovates existing properties, placing these properties on the market at prices that accommodate predominantly very low- to low-income homebuyers.  Additionally, AmeriDream’s Community Link Program has donated over $2 million to numerous worthwhile charitable organizations. For more information, visit www.ameridream.org.




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 and DreamKeeper mortgage payment relief, 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 $2 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.