Nehemiah Corporation of America announced the launch of www.DPAGroundSwell.org, a Web-based community established to mobilize the growing industry opposition to the October 1 ban on seller-funded downpayment assistance (SF-DPA). The ban on these programs was written into law by President Bush when he signed HR 3221 Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 on July 30, 2008.
The site will bring together families and individual homeowners as well as industry groups and local members of the real estate market including brokers, bankers, lenders, homebuilders and others to provide a central information and communication hub to fight the ban.
"Since the passage of the Housing Bill, we have been contacted by families, industry groups and individuals voicing concern about the long-term impact of this ban on themselves and their communities," said Scott Syphax, president and CEO of Nehemiah Corporation. "When the Bill passed, we pledged to continue to fight for these programs, and DPAGroundSwell.org is an important tool that will enable us to harness the swell of industry dissent against the ban by empowering individuals at all levels to influence public-policy decisions. We encourage everyone to visit the site find out how to get involved."
To date, SF-DPA programs have provided more than one million credit-worthy families with the downpayment necessary to qualify for a 3% FHA-insured mortgage and helped them realize the dream of homeownership. Nehemiah Corporation of America is the largest and oldest provider of SF-DPA, and has provided more than $1 billion in gifts to 300,000 working-class families in the last decade.
Importantly, the site enables visitors to directly contact local representatives and offer support for a bill introduced by Reps. Maxine Waters, Gary Miller, Al Green and Christopher Shays on July 31, 2008, that would reinstate SF-DPA. If passed and signed into law, the FHA Seller-Financed Downpayment Reform and Risk-Based Pricing Authorization Act of 2008 (HR 6694) will allow downpayment assistance to continue indefinitely.
This Web site has been built as a "participation-platform" and includes strategic content to spark discussion, drive traffic to the campaign Web site and harness creativity, information sharing, and most importantly, collaboration among SF-DPA stakeholders and supporters. By bringing together tools to engage Congress and the Administration such as video sharing, micro-blogging, and more, www.DPAGroundSwell.org provides a forum for everyday citizens to ensure that their voices are heard on this important issue.
"More than 75,000 letters have already been generated through this campaign," continued Mr. Syphax. "We expect to top 250,000 individual actions in the next 50 days, all helping us to save and reform SF-DPA for the millions of potential homebuyers who need this important program, in addition to the industry members who rely upon this assistance to help candidates worthy of homeownership."
For more information, visit www.nehemiahcorp.org.