VICTORIA, Texas, April 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beatriz Rodriguez's home was built in 1997, and although it is considered a newer construction home, it had some severe problems and could not accommodate her needs.
Ms. Rodriguez is 73 years old and lives alone. She works approximately 16 hours a week at the nearby senior citizens center by assisting in its resale shop. She often stays after her shift to visit with friends and volunteer in the center's cafeteria. Ms. Rodriguez had always been the one to help others, but when a leak in the wall behind her shower posed some serious problems, and she could no longer maneuver safely throughout her home, she knew she would have to rely on someone else for assistance.
The city of Victoria partners with First Victoria National Bank to access grant funding through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) to finance many of its home rehabilitation programs. In 2011, the city received a $245,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant through FHLB Dallas to fund its Home Accessibility Program, which helps qualified homeowners with emergency home repairs and modifications. The AHP grant was designated to assist 35 low-income, elderly, or special needs homeowners living within Victoria's city limits. The city helps potential recipients through the application process, then distributes the funding and oversees the home repairs if the applicant qualifies for the program.
"First Victoria National Bank is an avid partner of FHLB Dallas and its grant program," said Dorothy Jennings, First Victoria National Bank's senior vice president and CRA officer. "Our goal is to have a multifaceted presence in the Victoria community, and by partnering with the city and utilizing FHLB Dallas's grant programs, we are able to extend our reach in the community and assist with some much-needed affordable housing projects."
Ms. Rodriguez said she learned about the Home Accessibility Program when a city representative spoke at the senior citizens center. Having lived with the leak in her shower for quite a while, she wondered if the program could alleviate her problems. The leak was only part of her home's problems – her bathroom had a shower/tub combination, and she had already fallen twice trying to get in and out. In addition, the leak had caused mold behind the wall, and was damaging the tile and sheetrock. She also needed a ramp constructed leading to her front door. Her front steps were steep and she could no longer maneuver safely in and out of her home.
Ms. Rodriguez received $7,000 through the Home Accessibility Program, funded by the AHP grant. The funds covered all of the expenses to repair the leak and water damage, convert the tub to a walk-in shower with grab rails and a shower chair, as well as construct a ramp and replace Ms. Rodriguez's front door.
"This grant was an absolute blessing," said Ms. Rodriguez. "I still can't believe it." The work was completed in the fall of 2012, and she said it still feels brand new.
"I feel like some very good people were looking out for me," continued Ms. Rodriguez. "A big thank-you to the city of Victoria, First Victoria National Bank, FHLB Dallas, and all of those involved in making this happen for me. I am truly grateful."
Each year, FHLB Dallas sets aside a portion of its profits to fund the AHP. AHP grants are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions, such as First Victoria National Bank, to assist in the development and rehabilitation of affordable, owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households. In 2012, FHLB Dallas awarded $8.3 million in AHP grants to 31 affordable housing projects that will help create or rehabilitate 1,248 housing units within the Bank's five-state District. The Bank has made $10 million in AHP grants available in 2013.
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