DALLAS, Aug. 14, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A $4,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) was awarded to Cheryl Myers, a first-time homebuyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This grant, made available through Whitney National Bank, will help Ms. Myers achieve her dream of homeownership.

Ms. Myers, a 29-year-old single mother of two, is a teller at a Baton Rouge bank and a full-time student at The University of Phoenix at Baton Rouge. Ms. Myers was forced to evacuate New Orleans in 2005 as Hurricane Katrina was approaching her home. She had been renting a home in Baton Rouge ever since, but has eagerly been searching for an affordable home that she could call her own.

"After Katrina, I was just trying to pick up the pieces and get my life back on track," said Ms. Myers. "The HELP grant made achieving my goal of homeownership possible. Without it, I would have had to pay for the house out of pocket, which I simply couldn't have done. This program was great for me as a single parent because not only did I receive the financial help that I needed, I have really learned to budget as well. This whole experience has shed some light on how I need to handle my finances, and I'm so grateful for that."

Ms. Myers learned of the HELP grant through a first-time homebuyers assistance program provided by Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, a nonprofit organization that works with Whitney National Bank. During the program, she received helpful information about obtaining and maintaining a home, budgeting, and various other tips that would help her purchase her first home.

Brandy Blankenship, Community Development Assistant at Whitney Bank, submitted the funding request for Ms. Myers' HELP grant.

"Submitting the grant application to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is a very easy process," said Ms. Blankenship. "Everybody there is extremely helpful, and the funding always comes very quickly. Ms. Myers wanted to close on her house as soon as possible, so the timely manner in which funding was made available was greatly appreciated."

In 2009, FHLB Dallas set aside $2 million of its annual Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funds for HELP to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs. Each HELP recipient is eligible to receive $5,000. The amount increases to $7,000 if a member financial institution or another mortgage lender contributes at least $350 toward costs associated with providing the mortgage to the homeowner.

For more information about FHLB Dallas programs, please contact the Corporate Communications Department at 214.441.8445.

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 $72.1 billion as of June 30, 2009, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to more than 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas web site at fhlb.com.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3013

Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
Corporate Communications
(214) 441-8445