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NON-PROFIT HELPS NEARLY 35,000 WOMEN OWN THEIR OWN HOME
-- AmeriDream, a National Housing Nonprofit, Opens the Market to Female Home Buyers --


Gaithersburg, MD (March 8, 2003) — Today marks international women’s day. Created in the late 1970s, the day was the “focal point” of a week long celebration of women’s history that would “celebrate the important role of women in the paid labor force,” according to The History of National Women’s History Month (www.nwhp.org). Today, the weeklong celebration has evolved into a month-long tribute to the accomplishments of women.

In recognition of women’s place in the labor force, AmeriDream, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of housing down payment assistance, wishes to congratulate the nearly 35,000 women who have purchased their own home through the AmeriDream program. While the gap between men’s and women’s pay continues to decrease, women, on average earn only 73 percent of what men earn, according to the 2000 Census Bureau report. Annually, that amounts to just over $13,000. When women are the primary or only care giver in a family it can be more difficult for women to provide for basics – such as housing.

“We are proud to to have helped so many women through AmeriDream’s Downpayment Gift Program,” said Ann Ashburn, CEO of AmeriDream, Inc. “A woman’s ability to purchase a home furthers them on the path of financial building.”
Women from across the nation have benefited from down payment assistance, which in many cases has been “a dream come true.” Others have said:

Mary P. Perrain, Copley, OH: “We relocated to Copley, Ohio, and I was able to apply for the AmeriDream program, qualified, and was able to purchase a five-bedroom house. Since I’m raising my three grandchildren, being able to purchase a home was a dream come true. I have shared my experience with my family and friends. The AmeriDream program has made a big difference in our lives and allowed me to purchase a home, which I could not do in Denver, Colorado.”

Annette Lancaster, St Louis, MO: “I’m a single parent making less than $18,000 annually. I was told the dream of owning a home would never come true unless I made more money or I had a husband to help. I was disgusted and disappointed, then my loan officer told me about the AmeriDream Program. I was able to get in my house with $692 total. If it wasn’t for God and your program, my daughter and I would still be living with my parents. Thank you so much for making reality with what seemed to be a fairy tale.”

Janis Gaston Albuquerque, NM: “I am a single working professional making a good salary, yet unable to afford reasonable safe housing without the AmeriDream program. At age 41, I finally became a homeowner. I found I made too much to qualify for certain programs, yet it was not enough to afford a small dwelling in a safe area. Safety is vital for me as a single woman. I now have a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood. Thanks to AmeriDream.”

Sharon Hodges, Venus, TX: “Thanks to your organization, I was able to purchase my home. I am a widow and this is my first home to own. It is great to sit out on my front porch and see the sunset or to watch the lights in the distance. Thanks again for helping me make my dream a reality.”

Neval J. Williams; Kansas City, MO: Without this program, I doubt very much if purchasing a home would have ever happened for me. I found it very hard to save for my down payment. I am single and a self-employed cosmetologist who, up until I got my home, paid rent for an apartment and rent for my shop. My dream was to have a salon in my own home. Thanks to AmeriDream that has come true.  Now, my shop is in the lower level with a separate entrance and separate restroom; it couldn’t have been more perfect. I love it, my clients love it and so does my cat named Max. I will continue to support this program in any way I can. Thank you for making my dream come true!

Homebuying Tips for Women:

  • Ask around: Get recommendations for real estate agents, buyers brokers, lenders, etc. This is the time to be choosy.
  • Know your limits: Understand what you can afford; be comfortable with what your monthly mortgage payment will be.
  • Know what you want: Townhome, condo, single-family home. How much land, space do you need and want to take care of? Make sure you’re comfortable at the end of the day coming home. 
  • Remember there’s no super: Once you settle on your house, it’s yours. There’s no 24-hour maintenance and there will be out-of-pocket expenses if something needs to be fixed.
  • Location, location, location: Know where you want to live. This is for the long haul and you need to like where you’ll be. Check safety figures, and other statistics on the neighborhood.
  • Do your homework: AmeriDream will soon unveil an on-line course  to compliment our printed materials that will help you navigate the mounds of paperwork involved in buying a home.
  • Stand your ground: Don’t let a real estate agent, family or friends talk you into something other than what you want. It may take more time and research, but find what you want – of course, some compromises will have to be made.

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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 $8 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, and the Victims Rights Foundation.