CANTON, Miss., April 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the coming months, the Canton Housing Authority will provide critical home repairs for 45 very low- to low-income homeowners in Canton, Mississippi.
A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=18085
Canton Housing Authority has already identified the first 20 homeowners to receive repairs. Housing authority officials were joined today by Canton Mayor William Truly, representatives from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and BankPlus, as they announced plans to embark on the rehab work. FHLB Dallas and BankPlus awarded the housing authority a $495,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant in 2012 to help fund the project.
"As mayor of the city of Canton, and on behalf of this community, great appreciation and gratitude are extended to BankPlus and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas," said Mayor William Truly. "The city of Canton is greatly deserving of a grant of this nature; a grant that is specifically designed to revitalize and rehabilitate homes for the elderly/senior citizens, and disabled. It was nearly two years ago when, as mayor of this city, I developed a housing committee to address the problems in this community, specifically targeting the needs of the elderly and disabled. The receipt of this grant is a culmination of their efforts, for which I and this community are most grateful."
Many of the residents, who will be helped by the grant, attended the media event today at Canton City Hall. The housing authority received more than 75 applications for assistance. The needs of the residents include repairing or replacing dilapidated roofs, repairing foundation problems, dealing with water damage from leaky roofs, making bathrooms handicap-accessible, replacing heating and air conditioning units, and replacing doors and windows to make homes more energy efficient.
"We have a very poor community. We have a lot of people who don't have the financial resources to maintain their homes, and a lot of elderly and disabled residents, who are physically incapable of do-it-yourself repairs," said Stanford Beasley, executive director of the Canton Housing Authority. "The mayor asked us to start revitalization efforts because a lot of the homes needed new roofs. Other homes had weatherization issues, and while there are weatherization funds available, many of the homes had such extensive structural and roofing issues that we couldn't utilize those funds. We would not be able to do this project without the AHP funds. I am extremely excited about being awarded the grant."
The rehab project will provide much-needed repairs for residents like Thelma Blount, a 66-year-old, disabled woman, who without the help of the program would be unable to afford the repairs to her home. Ms. Blount has been on a waiting list for assistance since last year. She has a long list of needs. Her siding is rotting and worn down, allowing lizards and birds into her home. She's afraid to open one of her doors because she is worried it will fall down due to the rotting siding. She also has exposed electrical wiring, which is causing shorts and poses fire and safety hazards, and her windows lack insulation.
Ms. Blount suffers from epilepsy and lives on disability income. With her fixed income, she said she would have been unable to afford the repairs.
"I just thank God for whatever y'all are able to do," she said. "I've needed this for a long time."
AHP grants are awarded annually through FHLB Dallas members, such as BankPlus. The grants are used to purchase, construct, and/or rehabilitate single-family, transitional, and multifamily projects for very low- to moderate-income families. In 2012, FHLB Dallas awarded $8.3 million in AHP grants through member institutions, including nearly $1.1 million through BankPlus to support the creation or rehabilitation of 138 housing units.
"I'm excited to work with the Canton Housing Authority to assist eligible households in Canton with needed home repairs," said BankPlus First Vice President and Director of Affordable Housing Mark Ouellette. "This is something we've discussed over the years and upon presenting the grant application in 2012, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas decided to fully fund the request. I believe this collaboration will have a tremendous impact on many deserving families."
The Canton Housing Authority hopes to have the repairs for all 45 homeowners completed by the end of August.
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 $35.8 billion as of December 31, 2012, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances 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