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Press Releases


July 22, 2016


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

HELP Grant Helps Provide First Home for Shreveport Hospital Cook sloan_PR_photo_WEB.jpg

$7K Grant from Red River Bank and FHLB Dallas Assists with Down Payment

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, July 22, 2016 – Until recently, Litasha Sloan lived in the same neighborhood where she grew up. The 42-year-old hospital cook and mother of two had been living in the same rental house for 10 years and wanted a home to call her own.

"I tried to buy the house from the landlord several times," said Ms. Sloan. "Finally, I just decided it would be better to buy my own home instead. I wanted something to call my own."

A Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant from Red River Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) gave Ms. Sloan the necessary capital for a down payment on the home. The $7,000 grant also helped with closing costs.

HELP grants are offered by FHLB Dallas through its member financial institutions, like Red River Bank, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on newly constructed or existing homes.

"There are many people who can afford to pay a monthly mortgage, but are unable to save enough money for a down payment," said Judy Madison, assistant vice president of Community Outreach and Mortgage Lending at Red River Bank. "Thankfully, the HELP grants assist with down payments and closing costs, giving our customers the assistance they need to become homeowners."

Ms. Sloan said her new three-bedroom home is a significant upgrade to her previous home, which she described as very small, with only two bedrooms. She also said that while she had been saving money for a down payment for a new home, without the grant, it would have taken her much longer to save the money.

In 2015, FHLB Dallas awarded $1 million in HELP grants that assisted 199 families. The $1 million in 2016 HELP funding, made available in January on a first-come, first-served basis, has been exhausted. Since the program's inception in 2002, HELP grants totaling more than $16.2 million have assisted more than 3,100 families.

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said HELP grants impact the community in more ways than one.

"In assisting income-qualified, first-time homebuyers purchase their first home, FHLB Dallas is not only helping people achieve the dream of homeownership, but we are also helping our member institutions provide greater value to their customers," he said.

Ms. Sloan enjoys owning her own home.   

"Since buying this house, everyone in my family has said at some point how proud they are of me," she said. "My mom, my dad, even my kids, they all say they're happy for me. That's a good feeling."

About Red River Bank

Red River Bank is a full service community bank headquartered in Alexandria, LA. Red River Bank was chartered in 1998 in Rapides Parish and began operating its first banking center in Alexandria in 1999. Red River Bank offers consumer and commercial banking services and products, mortgage lending services, and investment services. For more information, logon to

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 $49.5 billion as of March 31, 2016, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit