|For Immediate Release: October 3, 2008
||CONTACT: Henry Fawell (410) 545-5830
AmeriDream: There is a hole in Congress’ financial rescue package
Hole can be filled by reauthorizing downpayment assistance
GAITHERSBURG , MD – Ann Ashburn, President of AmeriDream, Inc., issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed a $700 billion financial rescue package without reauthorizing downpayment assistance programs (DPA) funded in part by sellers. This program operates at no cost to the taxpayers and it will make $13 million for the Federal Government as reported officially by the Congressional Budget Office. DPA programs expired by law on October 1, 2008.
“Much has been made in Congress this week about the need for an economic stabilization plan. Today, Congress sent the president an economic stabilization plan with an enormous hole in it. The plan provides no downpayment assistance for qualified, FHA-approved, first-time homebuyers, who are the backbone of the U.S. housing market. Congress can fill this hole by passing H.R. 6694, a bipartisan plan to reauthorize DPA for qualified homebuyers.”
“Skeptics don’t have to take our word for it. More than 60,000 families and individuals have called on Washington to protect DPA. More than 1 million qualified, first-time homebuyers have used DPA to achieve homeownership since 2000. More than 5,000 local, state and national organizations and businesses have also called on Washington to protect DPA. It’s their voice that counts, and it’s their voice that was ignored in this week’s debate. We urge Congress to finish its work and pass H.R. 6694. Learn more about H.R. 6694 at http://www.supporthomeownership.com.”
Legislation went into effect October 1 that ends the use of DPA funded in part by sellers. AmeriDream discontinued its DPA program to comply with the law (Public Law 110-289), except for DPA gifts with credit approvals obtained prior to October 1.
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.
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.