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Rep. Meeks and Rep. Green Introduce American Dream Down Payment Act

September 4, 2020

Washington, D.C - Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) and Representative Al Green (D-TX) introduced the American Dream Down Payment Act to help Americans across the country obtain the dream of home ownership. The bill would aid families throughout the nation by establishing tax-exempt savings accounts that would be instrumental for households seeking to save up for a down payment. This legislation would also help close the racial gap in home ownership rates, by providing a new tool for black and brown families to save up for a home of their own. A companion bill in the Senate has been introduced by Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

"Home ownership is the route to the middle class for tens of millions of Americans, and it is the largest financial asset most Americans own," said Congressman Gregory Meeks. "This bill will provide the push, the means, and the opportunity for Americans to save for a down payment at a time when mortgage interest rates are a historic low. By boosting the path for black home ownership, this bill will also help close the stubborn and pernicious racial wealth gap."

Representative Al Green (TX-09) stated, "When we talk about the American dream, we often hear the adage that insists people must pull themselves up by their bootstraps to attain a better quality of life. Unfortunately, many in underserved communities have neither bootstraps nor boots. The American Dream Down Payment Act provides boots, via tax-exempt savings accounts that will help people save for a down payment on a home, with bootstraps, home loans that make homeownership more accessible. This legislation provides the boots and bootstraps necessary for many to transform the American dream into a reality. I must thank my colleague and friend Congressman Gregory Meeks for crafting this bill. I am proud to serve as an original cosponsor, and I look forward to it and its Senate companion being passed and enacted as the law of the land."

"The introduction of the American Dream Down Payment Savings Act offers Black American families and individuals the opportunity to build legacy wealth through homeownership. The ability to accumulate tax-free savings funds breaks down/eliminates one of the most prominent barriers to achieving homeownership, the down payment. This Act serves as a tangible springboard to increase Black homeownership and real wealth building prospects which the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) includes in the meaning of its time-honored slogan, Democracy in Housing," stated Donnell Williams, National President.

"This legislation is a bold and critical step forward to helping families achieve the American Dream of homeownership. For too many Black families, the saving for the down payment a home is an insurmountable mountain, now help is on the way," stated Antoine M. Thompson, National Executive Director of National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB).