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For Immediate Release: December 4, 2008 CONTACT: Henry Fawell (410) 545-5830

AmeriDream points to overlooked economic solution

With economy in recession, $24 billion solution remains on the sidelines

GAITHERSBURG , MD – Ann Ashburn, President of AmeriDream, Inc., released the following statement in response to this week’s news from the National Bureau of Economic Statistics that the U.S. economy is in a recession.

“Americans need no reminder of the tough economic times we face, but we got one this week from the National Bureau of Economic Statistics. To get on the path to economic recovery, we must stabilize our housing market. Yet aspiring homeowners have little incentive to buy homes. Congress can fix this problem and help the broader economy by reauthorizing and reforming downpayment assistance funded in part by sellers, commonly known as DPA, which was eliminated October 1 st of this year.

“There is little doubt that DPA has a positive ripple effect on the economy at large. Homebuyers who used DPA generated nearly $25 billion in total economic impact from 2000 to 2005, according to a study last year from the George Mason University School of Public Policy. This report reinforces what we at AmeriDream have always known: By incentivizing responsible, creditworthy homebuyers to enter the housing market with DPA, we can stimulate the broader economy with new revenue and new jobs. We call on Congress to enact H.R. 6694, bipartisan legislation to provide aspiring homeowners with this important tool.”

Highlights from the GMU report include:

  • More than 211,000 jobs were supported by home purchases with DPA;
  • Homebuyers [using DPA] generate jobs and economic output through the transactions of purchasing the home. These real estate transactions resulted in total additional spending of $5.5 billion, which generated 143,062 new jobs, $6.0 billion in additional personal income, and $17.4 billion in total economic output between 2000 and 2005.
  • Buying a home triggers additional spending on household items. This spending supported 60,794 new jobs in retail services and construction and were the source of $1.8 billion in additional personal income and $5.8 billion in total economic output between 2000 and 2005.

To read the entire report, visit: http://supporthomeownership.com/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=24176

H.R. 6694, sponsored by Congressman Al Green (TX-9), would reinstate FHA seller downpayment assistance for persons with certain credit scores. H.R. 6694 is co-sponsored by 25 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and was passed by voice vote in September by the House Committee on Financial Services. The legislation is supported by the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, the Christian Community Development Association, the National Organization of African Americans in Housing, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Caucus of Hispanic State Legislators, U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S. Conference of Black Mayors, National Association of Black Mortgage Brokers, the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Learn more at http://www.supporthomeownership.com

BACKGROUND: AmeriDream, a 501(c)(3) charity, was established in 1999 to provide housing-related programs to low and moderate income individuals and families. Many recipients are first-time homebuyers, minorities, legal immigrants, women headed households, and single-parents, achieve homeownership. AmeriDream provides a wide range of programs, including homebuyer education, loss mitigation counseling, community development, and privately-funded down payment assistance. These programs are provided at no cost to the taxpayer. AmeriDream not only seeks to help families purchase homes, but also provide them with the education and other resources needed to be responsible homeowners.