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BankPlus, FHLB Dallas, Habitat help low-income get home repairs

habitat-for-humanity1A collaborative effort among BankPlus, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area means 35 low-income homeowners will get critical repairs to their dilapidated homes.

FHLB Dallas and BankPlus — an FHLB Dallas member institution — have awarded HFHMCA a $253,750 Affordable Housing Program grant to help fund its Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

This is the third grant that HFHMCA has received from FHLB Dallas and BankPlus. In 2011, the agency received a $400,000 grant, which allowed it to build 36 new homes and repair four existing homes for very low- to low-income homeowners. In 2012, the agency received a $493,000 grant, which has allowed it to build 29 new homes, and repair 29 existing homes.

“There is a great need in this community for projects such as this, and we simply could not accomplish our goal without the support of partners like BankPlus and FHLB Dallas,” says Cynthia P. Griffin, executive director of HFHMCA and a member of FHLB Dallas’ Advisory Council. “A significant percentage of our population lives below the poverty line. They are single moms, senior citizens, and hard-working families that struggle just to make ends meet. When it’s a choice between feeding their children and making necessary repairs to the house, it’s an easy choice.”

Mark Ouellette, first vice president and director of affordable housing at BankPlus, believes everyone should have the opportunity to live in safe housing conditions, and says his organization passionately supports the initiative.

“BankPlus is more than merely a financial service provider. We are a community partner, and we are committed to doing our part to resolve the social issues in the communities we serve,” Ouellette continues. “We are thankful to be associated with an organization like FHLB Dallas that shares our passion for uplifting families and transforming communities.”

Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of community investment at FHLB Dallas, adds that as a cooperative, owned by members like BankPlus, FHLB Dallas is committed to supporting positive and impactful initiatives such as this.

“Through the Affordable Housing Program, we have the potential to transform a community and set families on a path to greater stability and success,” says Hettrick. “We are thrilled to be able to work with BankPlus and HFHMCA on this worthwhile project.”

Griffin says HFHMCA has targeted specific low-income neighborhoods for this latest revitalization initiative, and is currently accepting applications from qualifying homeowners. She hopes the project will get underway the first of next year.

“This type of initiative creates a sense of hope, and helps to improve a person’s wellbeing on all levels,” adds Griffin. “It also creates and sustains public safety. But most importantly, when we rebuild a home, we rebuild a person’s spirit.”

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