AHP Grant Starts Ball Rolling on New Orleans Mission Project

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NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- One of the largest homeless shelters in Louisiana's Gulf South region will undergo major renovations with the help of a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Fifth District Savings Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).

The New Orleans Mission will use the AHP grant to fund extensive repairs to the mission's 30,000-square-foot transitional housing facility for men. The 1909-era building was originally a department store and later a warehouse before it was utilized as housing for the homeless.

The AHP grant "started the ball rolling" on the $5 million project and enabled everyone to see the project as a reality, said David Bottner, executive director of the New Orleans Mission.

The AHP award will provide most of the funding needed to pay for two critical portions of the project — a new roof and facade repair. The roof has reached a point that it must be replaced due to age, damage, and leaks, and the facade is literally falling off the building, Mr. Bottner said. Both sustained significant damage during Hurricane Katrina and are beyond patchwork repairs.

"Those two things were just paramount to us beginning this process," Mr. Bottner said. "I was so grateful when I heard we were getting this AHP award because it is the beginning of what I believe will be an amazing project."

The state of Louisiana and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority have committed to help fund the project, although dollar amounts have yet to be finalized. The mission is also hopeful that the city of New Orleans will also support it. Architectural work has been completed, and construction is expected to start within the next nine months.

Besides the roof and facade, renovations will include new windows, electrical work, a new kitchen, new bathrooms, and a redesigned interior that will increase capacity from 232 to about 250 men.

"It will be almost taking it down to the studs and completely redoing the entire building," Mr. Bottner said. "We are making better use of the space so we can increase the capacity to help more people and to increase the services we provide." Added services after the renovation will include an eye clinic and a podiatry clinic, he said.

Brian North, senior vice president at Fifth District Savings Bank, said New Orleans Mission has had a significantly positive impact on the region, and the bank is thrilled to be able to play a part in its renovation.

"As one of the largest homeless shelters in the region, we are very familiar with the many services New Orleans Mission provides to our community," Mr. North said. "The mission treats the people it serves with love and respect and not only feeds and houses them, but provides for their emotional and social needs, giving them hope for a better tomorrow."

AHP grants that fund projects like the New Orleans Mission rehabilitation are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions. This year's funding will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,654 housing units across FHLB Dallas' District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $32.7 billion as of June 30, 2013, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.

CONTACT: Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445

Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas