WACO, Texas, April 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celestine Hobbs has lived in her quaint Waco home for 47 years. She loves her neighbors and the close proximity to downtown, and said she could not imagine calling anywhere else home.
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But at 77 years old, maintaining her home on her own can be a challenge and costly repairs are a bit out of reach on her limited income. Cracks had formed in the sheetrock of her walls and ceilings, and the rickety old front steps were quickly deteriorating.
One day, her son brought her a flier about a home improvement program available through Waco Habitat for Humanity for qualified, low-income homeowners. He helped his mother contact the nonprofit organization to see if she was a fit for the program.
Waco Habitat partners with Extraco Banks and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) to access grant funding through the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is an FHLB Dallas program available only through its member institutions, such as Extraco Banks. The program provides grant funds on a first-come, first-served basis to assist income-qualified, special-needs homeowners with home repairs and modifications. The program was established by FHLB Dallas to address critical repair needs so that homeowners could safely remain in their homes. FHLB Dallas depends on its member institutions and community organizations like Waco Habitat to disburse the funding.
Ms. Hobbs was a perfect candidate for SNAP and qualified for an $814 grant to repair and repaint the cracks in her walls and construct a permanent, stable ramp so that she could easily go in and out of her front door. The work was completed earlier this year.
"I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who needed it," said Ms. Hobbs. "It looks great and I am very pleased."
Waco Habitat has built 150 new affordable homes in McLennan County since 1986 and has served another 225 homeowners through its critical home repair program. Executive Director Brenda Shuttlesworth said nearly 30 percent of Waco residents are below the poverty level, according to a recent HUD Census, and approximately 20 percent of all homes in the Waco city limits were built in the 1950s. The organization has seen a recent influx of home repair applications because these homes are now requiring extensive repairs and updates to maintain sustainability for the homeowners.
"SNAP has been a critical component to our home repair program and has helped us address the needs of individuals and families throughout Waco," said Ms. Shuttlesworth. "This funding enables us to do the necessary work to keep our homeowners safely in their homes, as well as restore their faith and pride in their home. I'm happy to say that each year, with the help of Extraco Banks, at least five local homeowners qualify for SNAP funds."
Extraco Banks has been a longtime partner in Waco Habitat's efforts, and together the two entities have awarded $113,479 in SNAP grants since SNAP's inception in 2009.
"It is always rewarding for us as a community bank to work with Waco Habitat and help improve the lives of those in our community," said David Brennan, executive vice president at Extraco Banks. "SNAP is a viable resource, and each approved application is another step toward improving our community as a whole. We appreciate the opportunity to work in partnership with FHLB Dallas and are grateful for the financial support within the Waco community."
Since its establishment in 2009, more than $7.3 million in grant funds have been awarded through SNAP to 1,464 eligible homeowners 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