DALLAS, Aug. 27, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) awarded a $4,500 Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grant to Eunice Lewis of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The grant was made available through BancorpSouth.

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In 2009, FHLB Dallas set aside $1 million of its annual Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funds for SNAP, a rehabilitation program available through FHLB Dallas member institutions that provides grant funds to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with home repairs and modifications. Each SNAP recipient is eligible to receive up to $5,000. If a member financial institution contributes at least $350 toward costs associated with the rehabilitation, the homeowner is eligible to receive up to $7,000.

Ms. Lewis has owned her home since 1971. She returned from vacation in September 2008 to find it in shambles after Hurricane Gustav tore through the neighborhood. Her house had significant damage to the roof, which affected the ceilings in the kitchen and bathroom. Water leakage quickly rotted the walls and sheetrock, and mold formed in the damaged areas.

After many failed attempts in trying to find financial assistance, Ms. Lewis was recommended to the University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS). Through the IDS partnership with BancorpSouth, a member institution of FHLB Dallas, Ms. Lewis qualified for a SNAP grant to repair the damage to her home.

"Once we had Ms. Lewis's application, it was a quick process. The leaks in the roof and mold were hazardous to her health, so we did everything we could to provide funding in order to make timely repairs," said Lorenzo Claxton, Housing, Technical, and Training Specialist at IDS. "Our partnership with BancorpSouth allows us to utilize grants from FHLB Dallas to assist people, like Ms. Lewis, with necessary repairs that they otherwise could not afford."

Christy Minton, Fair Lending Officer, and Evelyn Edwards, Vice President and Regional Community Reinvestment Officer, at BancorpSouth, work together to obtain grant funds for IDS applicants.

"All of the FHLB grant programs, including SNAP, are a top priority for BancorpSouth, and for me personally," said Ms. Minton. "I know that for each day that is delayed, someone else has to suffer another day with a bad roof, bad plumbing, or some other circumstance that requires funding assistance. And, if the process is delayed too long, the funds may be gone. We count on FHLB Dallas grant funds in so many ways to help those that need it most. That is what being a 'community bank' is all about."

Ms. Lewis's home now has a repaired roof, new ceilings in the kitchen and bathroom, and fully repaired walls.

"After being denied so many times, this grant was a blessing," said Ms. Lewis. "I appreciate everything that was done for me, and I thank the people at IDS every time I see them. If it weren't for the SNAP grant, I would still be looking through holes in my roof and walls."

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.

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