PEARSALL, Texas, Oct. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A $440,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant has been awarded to Housing and Community Services, Inc. (HCS) to assist with the rehabilitation costs for Frio Apartments, a 63-unit, multifamily development in Pearsall, Texas, that offers affordable apartments for approximately 150 low-income individuals, seniors, and families.
The AHP funds were made available by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), through Wells Fargo Bank South Central, one of its members in San Leandro, Texas.
Since Frio Apartments were built in 1980, the development, although in good condition, is in need of rehabilitation and modernization. According to Sonia Hernandez, childhood resident and current property manager of Frio Apartments, a meeting in August 2011 with the residents revealed that several repairs were urgently needed.
"Upon meeting with the residents, we discovered that leaky roofs are a major issue," said Ms. Hernandez. "We have been getting heavy rain with severe windstorms, and because of the way a lot of these roofs were made, water is starting to enter the units through the front entrance. In many cases, the sheetrock has already become soft. The residents are scared to even turn on the light switch. This was our main issue."
Jacque Woodring, director of asset development at HCS, said the AHP funds will assist with roof and drainage repairs, as well as the following: concrete sidewalk and ramp repairs, the installation of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system replacements, high-efficiency window replacements, and potential repairs and improvements to the existing playground.
"Our ultimate goal is to preserve affordable housing for the residents," said Ms. Woodring. "HCS is about creating communities of quality, which means making the community more green and the housing more sustainable. In the long run, energy-efficiency will be better for the residents."
According to Ms. Woodring, Frio Apartments is located within the epicenter of the Eagle Ford Shale - a booming shale formation with the capability of producing both gas and oil in amounts far greater than in other areas across Texas. Because the oil companies are renting out all available housing, the city of Pearsall's ability to house the working class and low-income families has suffered severely.
"Due to this huge boom, housing prices have skyrocketed," Ms. Woodring said. "It is becoming more and more difficult to build new affordable housing, and a lot of existing developments are being converted to market-rate apartments because of the current economy. Preserving this affordable housing is very important to the community."
Ms. Woodring said that when HCS acquired Frio Apartments in December, she was already aware that improvements would be necessary. Upon looking into FHLB Dallas's AHP, she decided that an AHP grant is exactly what HCS would need to make these repairs.
HCS worked with Wells Fargo to submit its AHP application.
"I don't think we could have taken on the project without the help of the AHP funds," she said. "The grant is a perfect fit for the amount of work that the property needs. Wells Fargo has been a great partner because they helped provide the acquisition loan to even make this possible. They happily sponsored our application and did so in a very timely manner."
Nearly $1.1 million in AHP funds were awarded through Wells Fargo in 2012 to support four affordable housing projects that will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 214 housing units in Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
"Wells Fargo Bank South Central prides itself in helping to meet the needs of the communities it serves," said Community Lending Officer Linda Nelson at Wells Fargo Bank South Central. "When the opportunity arose to partner with Housing and Community Services and sponsor its efforts through FHLB Dallas's Affordable Housing Program, it seemed like a perfect match. The renovations to Frio Apartments will help provide sustainable housing for low-income families for many decades to come."
Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants, which are available through FHLB Dallas member institutions such as Wells Fargo Bank South Central. AHP grants provide financing for the purchase, construction, or rehabilitation of single-family, rental, transitional, and multifamily housing projects for very low- to moderate-income individuals and families. In 2012, FHLB Dallas awarded $7.6 million to support 27 affordable housing projects throughout its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas, including more than $2.2 million to support 349 housing units in Texas.
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