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AmeriDream, Inc. Testifies on Congressional Bill H.R. 3043, “The Zero Downpayment Pilot Program Act of 2005”

Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2005) - Robert Newman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of AmeriDream, Inc, the nation’s leading provider of affordable housing opportunities, presented testimony today to members of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity in support of The Zero Downpayment Pilot Program Act of 2005, and stressed the continued role of nonprofit downpayment assistance providers in the goal of increasing homeownership.  Newman’s testimony touched on the importance and impact of homebuyer education with regard to the level of financial success that homebuyers experience.  He also acknowledged the gains made by using HUD’s total scoring system in assuring a high level of credit quality as well as the evaluation of all relevant credit risk factors.

Newman provided insight on the improvements to H.R. 3043 since its introduction last year, and commended the committee for its continued work on this project.  Newman applauded the Committee’s progress toward raising the level of understanding of the issues that still present problems and confusion for both lenders and homebuyers. Additionally, he offered suggestions for further enhancements to the bill in hopes of strengthening its commitment to successful homeownership. 

Among the proposed enhancements were the inclusion of nonprofit downpayment assistance providers in governmental aid efforts, as an option for the Zero Down program or as supplements to the program.  He further asserted that downpayment assistance programs like AmeriDream should play a role in the governmental planning process.  Citing substantial resources and experiences, Newman welcomed and encouraged governmental programs to utilize the wealth of knowledge that exists in AmeriDream and other programs dedicated to increasing homeownership opportunities for all Americans.  

Newman’s testimony reflected the growing need for understanding and assistance in the homebuying process, and the opportunities that collaboration between nonprofit programs and government programs could create. He also stressed AmeriDream’s continued desire to partner with the Committee and HUD to work toward their mutual goal of increasing opportunities to make the dream of homeownership a reality for all Americans.

Transcript of Robert Newman's Testimony on HR 3043 "The Zero Downpayment Pilot Program Act of 2005"

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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 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.