FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 26, 2019
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
$120K Grant Helps Fund Affordable Housing in West 30's Neighborhood
The First, A National Banking Association and FHLB Dallas Awarded Grant
COVINGTON, LOUISIANA, November 26, 2019 – The First, A National Banking Association and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) recently awarded a $120,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to West 30's Redemption Company (West 30's). The grant is helping families buy new and renovated affordable, single-family homes in Covington's West 30's neighborhood.
The AHP grant was awarded earlier this year to the West 30's Redemption Company, a nonprofit that seeks to help low- and very low-income families buy homes in Covington's West 30's neighborhood. Local businessman Bryan Burns is the founder of West 30's, along with what he calls a "socially purposed" investment company to raise money for the nonprofit.
"We seek to change families' lives, one family at a time, through the blessing of homeownership," said Mr. Burns.
Homes in the West 30's neighborhood, either built or refurbished by the nonprofit, will range in value from about $75,000 to $150,000.
Mr. Burns said the $120,000 AHP grant will help his organization provide down payment and closing cost assistance to a dozen income-qualified homebuyers.
"This grant from The First, A National Banking Association and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas will be a wonderful blessing that will enable 12 families in the West 30's community to live in new or newly renovated homes, which are affordable," he said. "Without this grant, most, if not all, of these families would not be able to achieve their dream of owning a decent family home. On behalf of those families, we thank FHLB Dallas and our sponsor in this program, The First, for investing in the West 30's community and in these families' lives."
Mel Robertson, assistant vice president and community development officer for The First, A National Banking Association, said he was impressed by what West 30's is doing to improve the neighborhood for which it is named.
"It can be difficult to bring back a neighborhood where there are almost as many vacant lots as there are houses, and many of those houses are in poor condition. Bryan and his organization are doing wonderful work in West 30's. We wanted to be a part of the effort, and we were pleased that we could partner with FHLB Dallas to make a significant contribution," said Mr. Robertson.
The AHP assists FHLB Dallas member institutions like The First, A National Banking Association in financing the purchase, construction and/or rehabilitation of homes, benefiting households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area's median income.
FHLB Dallas awards AHP grants annually, through member institutions, to support the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units, among other projects. In 2019, FHLB Dallas, in partnership with its member financial institutions, has awarded $16.3 million in AHP grants to 34 projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas, which will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 2,057 housing units.
"We really like what we've seen of the West 30's Redemption Company's work to restore the neighborhood in Covington," said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "We were only too happy to join with The First, A National Banking Association to help families buy the new or refurbished homes in this neighborhood that is well on its way to recovery."
Visit fhlb.com/ahp for more information on the AHP.
About The First, A National Banking Association
The First Bancshares, Inc., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. Founded in 1996, The First has operations in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. The Company's stock is traded on NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol FBMS. Information is available on the Company's website: thefirstbank.com.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $73.8 billion as of September 30, 2019, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 815 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.