GAITHERSBURG, MD – Ann Ashburn, President of AmeriDream, Inc., issued the following statement today after President Bush signed into law the housing package. The legislation eliminates charitable downpayment assistance programs funded in part by sellers, effective October 1, 2008. These programs have helped one million families and individuals become homeowners.

“Eliminating charitable down payment assistance will slam the door on over 100,000 teachers, firefighters, working families and others who rely on these programs annually to become homeowners. The decision was based on suspect data that was never independently and publicly verified. In fact, just months ago, two different federal courts threw out a similar policy on the grounds that it was unsupported by either verifiable data or a valid policy rationale. We will continue to fight on behalf of low and moderate income families to preserve charitable downpayment assistance and to help them achieve the American dream of homeownership.

“In the interim, supporters of downpayment assistance should still make their voices heard by visiting and telling HUD and Congress to regulate – not eliminate – downpayment assistance. We commend the efforts of our many supporters – families, individuals, churches, mayors, real estate professionals, unions, community groups, and especially members of Congress – to protect the next generation of American homeowners.”

BACKGROUND: Charitable downpayment 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 downpayment assistance, generating nearly $10 billion in home equity for those families. These working families qualify for FHA insured loans in every respect, but are unable to save the needed downpayment. AmeriDream has provided more than 250,000 gifts to aspiring homeowners, approximately 80% of whom were first-time homebuyers. AmeriDream also has helped educate 60,000 homebuyers through homebuyer education courses, helped 1,200 homeowners retain their homes when confronted with mortgage difficulties, and committed over $30 million to affordable housing development in local communities.