AHP Grant to Help Rural Arkansas Residents With Home Repairs

Irving, Texas, UNITED STATES

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark., April 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Repairs are slated to begin in the approaching weeks on the homes of several low-income residents in rural Arkansas, thanks to a $66,500 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Bank of the Ozarks and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).

The Universal Housing Development Corporation (UHDC) was awarded the grant as part of $11.3 million in AHP grants awarded by FHLB Dallas in 2013. The grant will fund home repairs for 10 homeowners in northwest Arkansas.

Beverly Massey, programs manager for UHDC, said the organization is currently in the process of evaluating and qualifying applications from homeowners, and repairs will begin in the next several weeks. Many of the homeowners who will receive the funds are elderly and/or disabled.

UHDC has more than 300 homeowners on a waiting list for repairs in a four-county area encompassing Conway, Johnson, Pope, and Yell counties. Some residents wait as long as 10 years to get their repairs funded.

"We get applications every day," Ms. Massey said. "The grant will help us tremendously. We couldn't do without it."

UHDC expects to spend an average of $6,625 per home with the AHP grant. However, the organization hopes to stretch the funding further and repair a minimum of 14 homes by leveraging other funds such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Housing Preservation Grant funds, Ms. Massey said.

UHDC has provided housing assistance to the northwest Arkansas region since 1971. During that time, it has rehabilitated and/or built 1,722 homes. Included in that figure are 163 projects funded through FHLB Dallas and its member institutions, Ms. Massey said.

AHP funds are used to purchase, construct, and/or rehabilitate owner-occupied, rental, and homeless or transitional housing projects for very low-to-moderate income families. UHDC focuses its repairs on structural issues, health and safety repairs and accessibility. Past projects have included replacing roofs and addressing plumbing and electrical problems. UHDC has also made accessibility changes such as installing walk-in showers for disabled residents.

Eric Gustafson, director of Community Development for Bank of the Ozarks, said the bank is thrilled that UHDC received AHP funding to support its important mission of providing safe and affordable housing.

"UHDC does amazing things to help some of the region's most vulnerable residents, and we are happy to be able to support the good work it does," Mr. Gustafson said.

Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits to the communities served by member institutions in the form of AHP grants issued through its member financial institutions.

In 2013, FHLB Dallas awarded $11.3 million in AHP grants through members, such as Bank of the Ozarks, to help create, renovate, or purchase 1,654 housing units across the District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. FHLB Dallas made available another $11 million in AHP grants in 2014.

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 $30.2 billion as of December 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.


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