TUPELO, Miss., March 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Montez Raper has lived in her beloved Tupelo, Mississippi, home for 32 years. She shared it with her late husband, who died in 2010, and she has since had the burden of home repairs on her own shoulders. At 85 years old, Mrs. Raper is still very active, but the roof on her home was quickly deteriorating and the leaks were damaging the inside of the house. She knew the problem would only get worse, but on her modest income from social security, she could not afford the repairs.
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"I didn't know what to do," said Mrs. Raper. "It was a big problem, but I felt completely helpless about repairing it."
One day, she noticed workers replacing the roof of her neighbor and friend's home, just a block away. Mrs. Raper walked to his house to see what was going on and she met Lynda Ford, neighborhood development specialist for the City of Tupelo. Ms. Ford explained that her neighbor had qualified for a Special Needs Assistant Program (SNAP) grant, which paid for the roof replacement. Intrigued, Mrs. Raper asked if she, too, could qualify for a SNAP grant.
SNAP grants are available through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and its member institutions on a first-come, first-served basis. The grants assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications. Mrs. Raper qualified for a $5,000 SNAP grant, which was issued through FHLB Dallas member, Renasant Bank. Renasant Bank works closely with the City of Tupelo and Neighborhood Development Corporation to distribute SNAP funds to qualified residents. Renasant Bank, working with Neighborhood Development Corporation and the City, has awarded 17 SNAP grants since 2012.
"The City of Tupelo and Neighborhood Development Corporation have been our primary partners in distributing SNAP funds to eligible and deserving homeowners," said Phyllis Drope, executive vice president at Renasant Bank. "It is amazing what this program has accomplished over the years. There are few others like it, and Renasant Bank is proud to offer this unique opportunity to eligible Tupelo homeowners."
Work began on Mrs. Raper's home in late January. Her roof and deteriorating support beams were completely replaced. The aluminum siding was power washed and just enough of the grant funds was left to repaint the exterior of the home.
"I am so thankful," said Mrs. Raper. "The workmen were so nice, and Lynda was just wonderful to work with. My home looks so much better and I am now proud and happy to say that I live here."
Mrs. Raper said the workers went to extra lengths by completing the work in a timely manner and thoroughly picking up nails and debris from her yard.
"Mrs. Raper is such a sweet lady," said Ms. Ford. "I'm so happy we were able to get her the help she needed and provide a reliable roof over her head. She has been so appreciative of the work that was done for her, and I am just happy that we were able to help."
Since the program's inception in 2009, more than $7.3 million in SNAP funds have been awarded to assist more than 1,400 families throughout FHLB Dallas' five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. To learn more about SNAP and other FHLB Dallas programs, visit fhlb.com.
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 $30.2 billion as of December 31, 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.
The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.
CONTACT: Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445
Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas