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  • March 22, 2018

Housing Plan for Foster Care Youth Moves Forward Thanks to $386K Grant

Louisiana-based Synergy Bank and FHLB Dallas Provide Affordable Housing Program Grant


HOUMA, LOUISIANA, March 22, 2018 – MacDonnell United Methodist Children's Services will convert the vacant Keener building on its Houma, Louisiana, campus into 10 apartment units to be occupied by children who have aged out of the state's foster care system. The Keener Renovation for Aging Out Youth project was made possible thanks to a $386,640 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Synergy Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). Renovations are expected to begin in May.  

FHLB Dallas awards AHP grants annually, through members like Synergy Bank, to support the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units, among other uses. In 2017, FHLB Dallas awarded $7 million in AHP grants including $1.7 million to Louisiana projects.

This is the first AHP grant MacDonnell United Methodist Children's Services has received.

"Without the AHP grant, this project would have been delayed until we could conduct a capital fundraising campaign," said Kevin Champagne, executive director of the nonprofit. "We have six children here who will age out soon. Giving these young people just one more year of support would be beneficial."

Located on an 18-acre tree-shaded campus, the Keener building is on property owned by the Women's Division of the United Methodist Church. Renovation of the building, which was previously a dormitory, will include critical repairs to bring the facility up to Life Safety Code® and make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The project will include leveling landings, installing new railings and adding an ADA-compliant ramp. Interior corridor walls will be upgraded, windows will be re-glazed and painted for energy efficiency, openings will be increased to add ventilation and door hardware will be replaced. Residents will have private apartments, but all units will share a kitchen, dining room and living room.

Residents must be enrolled in school or have a job or internship to qualify to live at the apartment community. Residents will also receive additional support and training to help them become self-sufficient.

"This grant allows MacDonnell United Methodist Children's Services to provide much-needed support for foster children as they transition to adulthood," said Synergy Bank President Jerry P. Ledet Jr. "We are proud to help further their important mission and we are grateful for our partnership with FHLB Dallas."

FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions such as Synergy Bank. Grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly and special-needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes.

"The significance of our partnership with Synergy Bank cannot be overstated," said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "This project testifies to their dedication to improving the lives of those who live in the communities they serve."

The $7 million in AHP grants awarded by FHLB Dallas in 2017 will fund 19 affordable housing projects, resulting in the creation of 1,108 new or rehabilitated housing units. That includes 113 new or revitalized units in Louisiana. Since the inception of the AHP in 1990, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $261 million in AHP and AHP-funded grants to assist more than 48,500 families. The grants are awarded annually through members in FHLB Dallas' five-state region of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.

About Synergy Bancshares Inc.

Synergy Bancshares Inc. is a $495 million bank holding company headquartered in Houma, Louisiana, servicing Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. Opened in 1999, Synergy Bank is a full-service community bank with six locations offering innovative banking products and services with local market knowledge and experience. To learn more, visit

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 $68.5 billion as of December 31, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 835 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit for more information. 

Contact Information:

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Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas