AHP Grant Helps Nonprofit Building Homes in Webster Parish

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| Source: Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

SPRINGHILL, La., Jan. 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A $35,129 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Carter Federal Credit Union will provide financial assistance to five low-income families moving into homes being built or renovated by the Fuller Center of Webster in Webster Parish in Louisiana.

"Without the help of the AHP grant, we wouldn't be as far along as we are," said Derek Melancon, executive director at the Fuller Center of Webster. "The AHP grant has been a blessing. It's been a great thing. Our goal is to have all the homes completed by the end of 2014."

The Fuller Center of Webster is an ecumenical housing ministry affiliated with the national housing organization known as Fuller Center of Housing. It provides assistance to low-income and very low-income families with urgent housing needs. Since its beginning in 1991, the Fuller Center of Webster has built 51 homes and refurbished another 21 homes in Webster Parish. Homeowners working with the Fuller Center of Webster can typically obtain an interest-free mortgage.

"We believe all people should be able to live in a simple, decent home — not a mansion but something with a good bathroom, heating and cooling, and clean water," Mr. Melancon said.

Jennifer McCutcheon, a 30-year-old single mother, was the first beneficiary of the AHP grant, and moved into a new home in Springhill, Louisiana, in September.

"I have a place to call my own and a place to raise my son," said Ms. McCutcheon, who previously lived in an apartment. "It is really a blessing to have our own home. I didn't think at this stage in my life I'd be a homeowner."

Ms. McCutcheon put 500 hours of "sweat equity" into the construction of her home, including helping to install the roof and hanging drywall.

"At the end, you are hanging up a picture and you know exactly where the two-by-four is," she said. "It was a great opportunity to have this home built for me and by me. I think a lot of families can benefit from this. It is an awesome organization and the grant really helped."

Two of the five new homes will be located in Minden, Louisiana, and three will be in Springhill, Louisiana. Of the five, four will be new construction and one is an existing home that will be renovated.

Joe Arnold, CFO at Carter Federal Credit Union, said the Fuller Center of Webster fills a major housing need in the region.

"We've seen the good work this organization does and we wanted to be a part of it," he said. "Decent housing is a basic human need — and a significant need here in Webster Parish. We are thankful for organizations like the Fuller Center of Webster, and glad we could support its mission to provide low-income families with affordable housing."

AHP grants to fund projects like the Webster Parish housing project are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions. This year's funding will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,654 housing units across FHLB Dallas' District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.

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 $31.3 billion as of September 30, 2013, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.

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