FHLB Dallas and Bank of the Ozarks Award $98K Grant to Assist With Housing for the Disabled

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Nov. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Bank of the Ozarks are pleased to announce a $98,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant has been awarded to Easter Seals Arkansas to build an independent living apartment complex for Little Rock's disabled residents. The project, which also received a $1.49 million Section 811 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be the fourth affordable housing complex built by Easter Seals Arkansas in Little Rock.

"One of the things that Easter Seals and other providers constantly encounter is people who need safe, affordable housing, and there is very little available," said Sharon Moone-Jochums, president and CEO of Easter Seals Arkansas. The nonprofit serves about 300 residents who are disabled and, at any point in time, about 20 to 25 of them are seeking safe and affordable housing, she said.

Easter Seals Arkansas expects to break ground on the complex in late spring of 2014 with occupancy available by the end of 2014. The 14-unit complex will have one- and two-bedroom apartments that include a full kitchen, a living/dining room, and a handicapped accessible bathroom. The apartment complex will be situated close to shopping, medical offices, and a city bus line, and is also near two other Easter Seals housing complexes.

"Without the additional AHP funding, we wouldn't have been able to do this project," Ms. Moone-Jochums said. "$98,000 is a significant amount of money to put toward this project. We appreciate Bank of the Ozarks and FHLB Dallas for their support of Easter Seals. Their commitment to helping adults with disabilities have quality, affordable, and safe housing makes this dream of living on one's own and being independent a reality."

Eric Gustafson, community development officer at Bank of the Ozarks, said the bank is committed to developing relationships in the communities it serves.

"We are pleased to be able to help Easter Seals in its mission to assist our city's disabled residents live independently in safe and affordable housing," Mr. Gustafson said. "The agency has proved it's up to the task with the three complexes that are already up and running."

Easter Seals' housing complexes encourage socialization and independence and foster a better quality of life for each of the residents, she said. In some cases adults who are in their 40s have lived their entire lives with their parents and need housing options as their parents grow older or die. Easter Seals is able to provide services to the apartment residents, such as assistance with bathing and dressing for those who have special needs, which makes living independently possible, Ms. Moone-Jochums said.

AHP grants are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions, such as Bank of the Ozarks, to assist in the development of affordable owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households. This year, FHLB Dallas awarded $11.3 million in AHP funding to 36 projects across its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The funding will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,654 housing units across the District.

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 $31.3 billion as of September 30, 2013 is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.

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

Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas