Home Rehab Program Assisted by AHP Grant Nearly Complete

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WAVELAND, Miss., May 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hancock Resource Center (HRC) is well on its way to completing a home repair project for income-qualified homeowners in Hancock County, Mississippi. The project received a $49,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant in 2012 from The First, A National Banking Association (The First) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) to assist seven homeowners with repairs.

HRC targeted very low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners for its rehabilitation program. The qualified recipients could not physically or financially make the necessary home repairs on their own. HRC leveraged the $49,000 AHP grant with funding provided by the United Way of South Mississippi to cover the total cost of $90,047 for the project. The renovations included repairing air conditioning units and duct work, skirting homes to deter small animals and pests, repairing exterior siding, reconstructing exterior stairs and porches, as well as converting the homes to be handicap accessible by adding ramps, grab bars, and renovating bathrooms for disabled homeowners.

"Our goal was to stabilize these homes so that the homeowners could afford to live in their home safely," said HRC President Rhonda Rhodes. "These homes were rapidly deteriorating and the homeowners were faced with the decision to abandon the home, but most had nowhere else to go. It was our privilege to help these homeowners and we are very grateful for the funding we received through the AHP grant that helped make this project possible."

Rehab work is complete on five of the seven homes, and the remaining two homes are expected to be completed this year.

The United Way of South Mississippi has been a proponent of HRC since its inception. It was one of the organizations on the committee that created HRC after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The United Way of South Mississippi provided initial funding to jump-start HRC, and is still a supporter and active partner in HRC's efforts to provide affordable housing and help families achieve long-term financial stability.

"The Hancock Resource Center has been an excellent steward of United Way funds, using them efficiently and effectively to help families to make positive changes in their lives," said Aletha Burge, director of community initiative at United Way of South Mississippi. "As the economic recession impacted our area, it became clear that just getting families into affordable homes was not enough – many of them needed help to avoid foreclosure. HRC is a critical part of the safety net in Hancock County."

AHP grants are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions, such as The First, to assist in the development of affordable, owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households. In 2012, FHLB Dallas awarded $7.6 million in AHP funding to 27 projects across its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The funding resulted in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,248 housing units across the District. In 2013, FHLB Dallas has offered $10 million in AHP funds.

"The First is proud to have partnered with the Hancock Resource Center and supports its rehabilitation efforts for these seven deserving homeowners," said Jerome Brown, vice president and director of community development at The First. "Serving the needs of our community is a top priority, and we applaud HRC for its continued service within Hancock County."

Each recipient was required by HRC to complete homeowner counseling prior the rehabilitation, and the homeowners must demonstrate financial capacity to sustain the home once the renovations are complete.

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 $31 billion as of March 31, 2013, 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