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AmeriDream Commends Supporters in House of Representatives, Urges Congressional Action in Support of Charitable Down Payment Assistance

Gaithersburg, MD -- Ann Ashburn, President of AmeriDream, Inc., today issued the following statement urging Congressional action in support of charitable down payment assistance.

"We are heartened by the broad support in Congress from Democrats and Republicans for down payment assistance programs. We are particularly pleased by the strong bipartisan support from members of Congress with the greatest expertise on housing issues, and are deeply grateful to Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressmen Gary Miller and Al Green for their active leadership in protecting this homeownership program," said Ashburn.

"Congress can play a vital role this year in protecting charitable down payment assistance and the low-income families that depend on it. We respectfully urge the U.S. Senate to join with the House to enact measures that protect charitable down payment programs from regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, which could deprive tens of thousands of low-income families of a proven mechanism for owning a home," Ashburn stated.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development has issued a regulation to limit the ability of down payment assistance providers to offer down payment gifts to borrowers who receive FHA-insured mortgages. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation in September effectively overruling HUD’s regulation. In addition, a federal district court judge on October 31st temporarily blocked HUD’s regulation as a result of a lawsuit filed by AmeriDream.

"The Court’s ruling affirms our view that HUD’s regulation violates the law and is unenforceable," Ashburn stated. "It would also disrupt financial arrangements over numerous home sales and deprive tens of thousands of aspiring homebuyers of an avenue for owning a home. We respectfully urge Congress to protect homeownership opportunities for low and middle-income Americans."

Charitable down payment assistance funded in part with seller participation has allowed homeownership to grow without using taxpayer dollars. To date, more than one million families and individuals have utilized this down payment assistance, generating nearly $10 billion in home equity between 2000 and 2005. AmeriDream has provided more than 200,000 gifts to aspiring homeowners, 80% of whom were first-time homebuyers. AmeriDream has helped educate 60,000 homebuyers through homebuyer education courses, and helped 1,200 homeowners retain their homes when confronted with mortgage difficulties.