SHREVEPORT, La., Nov. 4, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A $7,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Red River Bank was awarded to Mary Smith to assist with down payment and closing costs for her home in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Ms. Smith, a single mother with four children in her household, said she learned of the HELP grants during a chance meeting with Judy Madison, Assistant Vice President of Community Outreach Programs at Red River Bank. Ms. Smith, who is studying criminal justice at Southern University, ran into Ms. Madison while walking home from class one summer afternoon.

Ms. Smith qualified for the program. She received her HELP grant during the closing for her home at noon on August 17, and by 1 p.m. she was moving into her four-bedroom, three-bath home in Shreveport.

"It really helped big time," said Ms. Smith, who also works as a dealer at a casino in Shreveport. "There's no other way I could have just come up with $7,000. There's just no way."

More than $1.2 million in HELP and other grants have been awarded through Red River Bank since 1999. Ms. Madison, who joined Red River Bank a little more than a year ago, said the HELP program has been a big help to customers who don't have a lot of money saved.

"She didn't have enough saved for a down payment," Ms. Madison said. "When she heard we had the HELP program, she immediately asked if she qualified. It was easy to do. The process was easy. We have the funds if they meet the guidelines."

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. By September, HELP funds were exhausted so FHLB Dallas made available an additional $1.5 million outside of its AHP program for HELP II in an effort to continue assisting its members in supporting their communities. Each HELP and HELP II recipient is eligible to receive $5,000. The amount may be increased 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 $67.3 billion as of September 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

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas logo is available at

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