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U.S Conference of Mayors Pass Resolution Supporting Down Payment Assistance Programs

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RISMEDIA, June 27, 2007–The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has passed a resolution in support of privately-funded down payment assistance programs, a method of home buying which has helped hundreds of thousands of low-to moderate income families live the American dream; in addition, the USCM calls on Congress to fight a controversial plan by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ban the programs.

In the past decade, more than a half-million families have been able to purchase a home by using private down payment assistance, a model pioneered by the Nehemiah Corporation of America. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is asking for Congress to hold hearings on the issue and create regulations to ensure honest business practices, and for HUD to withdrawal its proposal to eliminate private down payment assistance.

“Nehemiah and others who provide private down payment assistance are not only helping people nationwide buy homes, but also stabilize neighborhoods and cities, and create stronger families,” said USCM President, Mayor Douglas Palmer of Trenton, New Jersey.

Scott Syphax, president and CEO of Nehemiah Corporation of American, said, “Down payment assistance has been a much needed and much sought after tool for hundreds of thousands of first time homeowners in the country for much of the last decade. We welcome the support of the USCM in our effort to repeal what we believe is a terrible HUD rule that will hurt the very people that HUD and FHA were organized to assist.”

HUD also tried to ban private down payment assistance in 1999. At the time, HUD received 1800 letters in opposition, and only 23 in support.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of The U.S. Conference of Mayors are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information.

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