HOUSTON, Oct. 4, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When resident Lynn Weigman thinks about the condition of his home a few months ago, he realizes that the amount of work he needed to create a safe living environment was substantial.
"I have had chronic back pain for a while now, and combined with my fixed income and the fact that I have no family and a limited amount of friends around to support me, makes it impossible to keep my home in good living condition," said Mr. Weigman.
Visiting with a local social agency in Harris County, Mr. Weigman found out about the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grant offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Green Bank in Houston.
SNAP grants are made available through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions, such as Green Bank, to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners like Mr. Weigman with necessary home repairs and modifications.
In 2012, FHLB Dallas made $1.35 million in SNAP funding available through its members. More than $47,000 in SNAP grants has been awarded through Green Bank in 2012 to assist 11 families with necessary home repairs and modifications.
Well-known throughout the community, Rebuilding Together-Houston, a nonprofit community outreach organization, has 450 to 600 residents on its wait list for repairs.
Rebuilding Together-Houston uses grants like SNAP, licensed contractors, and hundreds of volunteers to renovate and repair homes for elderly citizens who cannot physically or financially make improvements.
"There are so many homeowners in Harris County who need help improving their living conditions," said Jennifer Touchet, executive director of Rebuilding Together-Houston. "With the help of this program, we are able to make often critical repairs that allow these longtime residents to remain in their homes without having to be concerned about their safety."
The punch list for Mr. Weigman's home was considerable. The $5,000 SNAP grant he received covered a portion of the repair of electrical and plumbing systems, the replacement of a rusty sink and kitchen counter, and the installation of hand rails in Mr. Weigman's bathroom.
"I am so happy to have my home in a clean, workable order," said Mr. Weigman. "I broke my leg after the Rebuilding Together crews came in, so these repairs were truly a miracle. I hope more SNAP grants become available to allow organizations like Rebuilding Together help people like me."
And there is a movement in place to help more Harris County residents.
"Our Board of Directors has made a long-term strategic decision to further address the housing needs of the elderly in Harris County and is aiming to reach 500 homeowners annually with volunteers," said Ms. Touchet. "Currently, we work with 5,000 volunteers each year and our goal is to leverage 10,000 or more volunteers annually to stretch these SNAP dollars even further. We encourage more banks to participate in the program with us."
Mr. Weigman couldn't be more pleased with the condition of his home.
"These people create hope," he said of the Rebuilding Together-Houston staff. "The future worry that I will no longer be able to stay in my house is gone."
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 $34.7 billion as of June 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 fhlb.com.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3013
CONTACT: Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445
Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas