HOUSTON, June 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eunice and Freddie Batiste have lived in their Houston home for approximately 40 years. Their home has always been well-suited for their needs, but as the couple ages -- Ms. Batiste is 75 and her husband is approaching 80 -- the shower/tub combination in the bathroom was posing a safety hazard.
"It was becoming quite difficult for both my husband and me to climb in and out of the tub without falling," said Ms. Batiste. "We didn't have any handrails and the tub was very slippery. We had to do something, but knew the cost would be much more than we could afford."
The Batistes were referred to Rebuilding Together-Houston, a nonprofit community outreach organization that partners with Green Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) to utilize the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP grants are awarded by FHLB Dallas and available through its member institutions, such as Green Bank, to provide emergency or necessary home repairs and modifications for income-qualified, special-needs homeowners. Rebuilding Together-Houston currently has an extensive waiting list of families who cannot physically or financially make home improvements on their own, and SNAP grants help fill the funding gap to assist these families.
"SNAP is a perfect fit to boost what Rebuilding Together-Houston has been accomplishing in the Houston community for many, many years," said David Matthews, senior vice president and CRA officer at Green Bank. "We are proud to be a partner in their efforts, and hope that with the added assistance of SNAP, Rebuilding Together-Houston can change the lives of even more deserving families."
The Batistes were awarded a $3,822 SNAP grant in the spring of 2013 that covered the expense of modifying their bathroom to make it safer and handicap-accessible. Mr. and Mrs. Batiste now have a ceramic walk-in shower with grab bars, a non-slick floor, and a handheld shower wand. The grant also replaced their existing toilet with one that is handicap-accessible.
"We are very fortunate to have found a program like SNAP that perfectly aligns with our mission to bring these homes to a safe and livable condition," said Jim Soller, executive director of Rebuilding Together-Houston. "We want our homeowners to be proud of their homes, and for the homes to suit the needs of the homeowners."
Since the program's inception in 2009, FHLB Dallas and its member institutions have awarded more than $6.3 million in SNAP grants to assist 1,260 qualified, special needs families across FHLB Dallas's five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For 2013, FHLB Dallas made available $1 million in SNAP funds.
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.
Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445