HOUSTON, June 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Earlene Thomas, 75, spends much of her free time in retirement volunteering.
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In fact, that's what she was doing when she heard about the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP). While volunteering at a neighborhood senior center, Ms. Thomas heard people discussing the SNAP grants they had received through Rebuilding Together Houston and she decided to seek out more information.
SNAP, offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) through its member institutions, provides grants to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications. Rebuilding Together Houston partners with FHLB Dallas members in Houston – in this case, Green Bank – to provide grants to qualified homeowners.
Ms. Thomas said she applied because she needed expensive repairs to her home, including a new electrical panel and a new window. She lives on a fixed income and repairs of that magnitude are beyond what she could afford.
"Everything is so high," she said. "I needed repairs that I couldn't get done on my own."
Ms. Thomas had a double window that was leaking from the top when it rained and the electrical panel box was original to the house and needed to be replaced.
She received a $4,715 SNAP grant from FHLB Dallas and Green Bank.
Dave Matthews, executive vice president and CRA officer for Green Bank, said the bank was happy to help out.
"SNAP is a great program and helps so many deserving people," Mr. Matthews said. "We are pleased to be able to be a part of it, especially knowing that because of the program, Ms. Thomas can rest easy knowing her electrical issues have been resolved."
Besides the replacement of the electrical panel and the window, SNAP funds paid for the repair of an outside light and to place wiring from the panel box into a conduit. It also provided for GCFI outlets in the kitchen. Standard on homes built today, these outlets protect inhabitants from electrical shock and protect homes from electrical fires. SNAP funds were also used to replace door jams at the front and back doors.
Ms. Thomas has lived in her home since 1967, the year it was built.
"It meant a lot to me to be able to get this work done," she said. "I feel safer and more comfortable in my home."
James Soller, executive director of Rebuilding Together Houston, which helps facilitate SNAP grants, said the program helps some of the city's most vulnerable. Rebuilding Together Houston provides home repair and renovation services at no cost to low-income homeowners in need through a variety of grant programs.
"Our senior citizens are living on fixed incomes and often can't afford repairs that could affect their health and safety," he said. "Repairs offered by SNAP, like the new electrical panel and GCFI outlets at Ms. Thomas' home, can provide our seniors peace of mind and the ability to remain independent in their own homes."
Since SNAP's inception in 2009, more than $7.3 million in grants have been awarded through FHLB Dallas member institutions to assist 1,464 families throughout FHLB Dallas' five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. So far in 2014, FHLB Dallas has awarded $1 million in SNAP grants, and recently announced it will make available another $850,000 through members beginning July 1.
To learn more about SNAP and other FHLB Dallas programs, visit fhlb.com.
About Green Bank
Green Bank is a Texas-focused bank headquartered in Houston. It provides commercial and private banking services at full-service offices in the Austin, Dallas and Houston markets. Green Bancorp Inc., the holding company of Green Bank, began operations on Dec. 31, 2006, with the acquisition of Redstone Bank in Houston. Since the start of 2010, it has expanded from five offices and 21 bankers to 12 offices and 48 bankers.
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 $30.6 billion as of March 31, 2014, 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