City of Vicksburg Awarded Grant Funds to Assist Low-Income, First-Time Homebuyers

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VICKSBURG, Miss., Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) is pleased to announce that it has awarded a $198,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to the City of Vicksburg to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to 18 very low- and low-income homebuyers. The grant was awarded through FHLB Dallas member institution RiverHills Bank in Port Gibson, Mississippi.

The City of Vicksburg established its homebuyer assistance program in 1997, and remains one of the few programs in the area to offer financial assistance to low-income homebuyers. Since the program's establishment, the city has received 10 AHP grants, totaling more than $1.3 million, and has helped 185 families obtain homeownership.

This year's grant will provide each family $11,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to purchase a newly constructed or existing home within the Vicksburg city limits. Qualified homebuyers must complete mandatory first-time homebuyer financial literacy and counseling courses, as well as post-purchase educational courses. Since 1997, the city has partnered with both RiverHills Bank and BancorpSouth to utilize AHP funds to support this program. To enhance what is received through the AHP, the city also partners with other housing affiliates to further assist low-income homebuyers with special needs.

"Housing is a personal matter of the heart, and affordable housing is a very real need for low-income families in our community," said Leona Stringer, housing coordinator for the City of Vicksburg. "We believe homeownership is the single most outstanding accomplishment for a family. It helps stabilize a family and gives them a sense of belonging to the community."

Ms. Stringer also commented that the homeownership program impacts more than just the homebuyer, it impacts the entire community.

"The home buying process can be a catalyst to drive other business in the community," said Ms. Stringer. "A plethora of housing service providers, including but not limited to, real estate agents, appraisers, inspectors, attorneys, lenders, insurance companies, contractors, and building supply companies are all examples of other businesses that can be impacted when a home is purchased. So, by assisting new homeowners and providing the extra capital needed to complete a home purchase, we are also helping to drive more business for various other local entities."

The City of Vicksburg works closely with RiverHills Bank to obtain AHP funds to support its homebuyer program. AHP grants are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions, such as RiverHills Bank, to assist in the development of affordable, owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households. This year, FHLB Dallas awarded $7.6 million in AHP funding to 27 projects across its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The funding will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,150 housing units across the District. Of this funding, more than $3.2 million in AHP funds was awarded to projects in Mississippi to support 476 affordable housing units.

"RiverHills Bank greatly values its partnership with the City of Vicksburg for its continued dedication to assisting low-income, first-time homebuyers," said Joel Horton, president of RiverHills Bank. "The AHP allows us to help these homeowners fill the funding gap and obtain their part of the American dream. It is truly remarkable when the public and private sectors can work together for the greater good of the community."

Ms. Stringer said the city has already begun distributing this year's grant funding to qualified homebuyers.

"Three purchases are complete and several other qualified homebuyers are at various stages of the home buying process," said Ms. Stringer. "The ongoing process is a busy one, and yet very rewarding, especially for the qualified homebuyers, and overall it's a really good thing for our community."

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 $35.2 billion as of September 30, 2012, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to more than 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at

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

Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas