|For Immediate Release: October 16, 2008
||CONTACT: Henry Fawell (410) 545-5830
August home sales surge thanks in part to
Downpayment program, targeted for elimination, sees 208% increase in August
GAITHERSBURG , MD – The surge in U.S home sales in August coincided with a 208% increase in the number of homebuyers using AmeriDream’s downpayment assistance (DPA) program to achieve homeownership. The dramatic increase in DPA use occurred as homebuyers sought to take advantage of the program before it was eliminated by federal law effective October 1 st. Overall U.S. home sales in August increased 8.8% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.
“ U.S. home sales increased in August – and will likely increase in September – in large part because homebuyers sought to benefit from our downpayment assistance program before it expired,” said Ann Ashburn, President of AmeriDream. “Sadly, what goes up will likely come down. Future home sales will likely suffer in part because the Bush Administration and HUD convinced Congress to eliminate DPA programs that had helped more than one million FHA-mortgage qualified individuals become homeowners since 2000.
“The American homebuyer sent Washington a message in August: downpayment assistance programs work, and are a vital component to stabilizing the housing market. Congress must pass H.R. 6694, a bipartisan plan to reauthorize and reform DPA programs. These buyers have a positive ripple effect across the economy, generating new revenue for construction companies, retailers, home goods stores, and revenue-strapped local governments.”
H.R. 6694, sponsored by Congressman Al Green (TX-9), would reinstate FHA seller downpayment assistance for persons with certain credit scores. Under the reforms in H.R. 6694, the allowance of downpayment assistance programs will make the government money and not use any taxpayer dollars, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 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. To see the full list of supporters for H.R. 6694, visit 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.