FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 1, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Colonial Savings awarded a $7,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant to John Artz, a first-time homebuyer in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mr. Artz, a Fort Worth resident for 16 years, said he had been renting since the late 1980s, and wanted to take the step toward homeownership. He began the process by working with Easter Seals of Fort Worth, and was then referred to Colonial Savings for an FHLB Dallas HELP grant.

"My wife and I wanted to get out of our old neighborhood, so we began looking for a new home," said Mr. Artz. "Homeownership allows you the freedom to know what you're living in, and that it's yours. You don't have to worry about the landlord's approval or suddenly having to move."

Mr. Artz had never banked with Colonial Savings, but with assistance from Loan Officer Ryan Snell, he was approved for the grant and qualified for a mortgage. The HELP grant assisted with down payment and closing costs on a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home for Mr. Artz and his family.

"This home is our little piece of America," said Mr. Artz.

Colonial Savings actively participates in the FHLB Dallas affordable housing programs including the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) and HELP. Ken Majka, Vice President at Colonial Savings, said FHLB Dallas has been a cooperative and responsive partner for grant applicants.

"The HELP program provides first-time homebuyers with the ability to purchase a home that otherwise may seem out of reach," said Mr. Majka. "The grant funds along with the first-time homebuyer counseling courses are a great fit. Colonial Savings and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas have shared in assisting others achieve homeownership."

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 up 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