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SNAP Grant Provides a New Roof and New Outlook for Natchez Resident

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NATCHEZ, Miss., April 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A roof's lifespan depends on a number of factors, like the quality of the shingles and the area's climate. But few roofs last 30 to 40 years, and Ella Mae Bruce's roof – some 30 or more years old – was long past its prime.

A Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grant awarded by Concordia Bank & Trust and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) provided the funding needed to replace her aging, dilapidated roof.

Ms. Bruce, 76, a resident of Natchez, was referred to the city by an alderman who helped the city identify residents in need of home repairs.

James Johnston, City of Natchez community development director, said the city worked with aldermen with wards containing low-income residents in need of housing repairs. In particular, they targeted elderly residents like Ms. Bruce, who are on fixed incomes and unable to do the repairs themselves.

Natchez, the oldest city on the Mississippi River, has some aging housing stock, said Mr. Johnston. The city, founded in 1716, is scheduled to celebrate its tri-centennial in three years.

While Ms. Bruce's house doesn't date to the 1700s, it is a 1940s-era home and as an older home requires a significant amount of costly maintenance, something that can be out of reach for residents with limited income. Ms. Bruce received a $4,950 SNAP grant to replace her roof.

The city is working with two FHLB Dallas member financial institutions to assist a total of 19 area residents in 2013.

"We feel like SNAP is a very worthwhile program, and we hope that both banks will be willing to participate again," said Mr. Johnston. "We also appreciate the time the staff of the Federal Home Loan Bank took in answering questions both from myself and from the member banks. They were very helpful."

Like the classic Southern hospitality that Natchez offers to tourists, Mayor Larry L. "Butch" Brown said Natchez also wants to make sure the quality of life for its year-round residents is first rate.

"Natchez is only as well-off as its least-fortunate resident," Mayor Brown said. "Addressing the needs of our senior citizens and less fortunate is, and has always been, a priority in my administration. Participation in the SNAP program is a way to address one of the needs of our most needy residents."

FHLB Dallas has awarded $46,845 through Concordia Bank & Trust to assist 10 homeowners, so far in 2013.

"Concordia Bank & Trust believes in being a good neighbor to the communities we serve. That means giving back and helping to support those in need," said Glynn Laird, senior vice president at Concordia Bank & Trust. "Our partnership with the City of Natchez and FHLB Dallas has enabled us to provide residents like Ms. Bruce one of the most basic necessities – a roof over her head, literally."

SNAP grants are available through FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as Concordia Bank, on a first-come, first-served basis to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with emergency home repairs and modifications. The program was established in 2009 and, through its member institutions, FHLB Dallas has provided more than $6 million in SNAP grant funds to 1,260 eligible homeowners.

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 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.

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

Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas