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  • July 12, 2019

$267K Grant Helps Fund Major Renovations to Low-Income Mississippi Apartments

Tensas State Bank and FHLB Dallas Award Affordable Housing Program Funds   

NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI, July 12, 2019 — Tensas State Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) have awarded a $266,760 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to renovate Brumfield School, a historic property built in 1926. What was once built as the first school for African-American children in Natchez, Mississippi, will be renovated to create quality affordable housing near downtown Natchez. The building was abandoned by its previous owner and closed by the city.

The AHP grant was awarded to New Hope Missionary Baptist Church (New Hope), which operates a community housing development organization. The church purchased the property from the City of Natchez in 2013 and has since been working to gather grant sources to fund its rehabilitation.

Bishop Stanley Searcy Sr., New Hope's pastor, says this grant will have a positive impact on the low- and very low-income people the apartments will serve.

"Just for families to be able to come home and have a safe and functional place to live will provide much-needed relief," Bishop Searcy said. "A lot of older affordable housing in the community needs extensive renovations, so this will be like a breath of fresh air for residents."

The AHP grant will, in part, be used to fully renovate 29 apartment units – 16 one-bedroom units and 13 two-bedroom units – which will include wheelchair accessible units, as well as those accommodating the deaf and the blind. Improvements will include new kitchen cabinets and countertops, new electrical wiring, sprinkler system modifications, replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and plumbing.

Renovations will begin later this year and are expected to be completed at the end of 2020.

"This project will restore a historic building and introduce a quality housing option for residents of Natchez and the surrounding area," Tensas State Bank President and CEO William E. Hawkins Jr. said. "We're proud to partner with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas in the renovation of the Brumfield School."

AHP funds are intended to assist FHLB Dallas members, like Tensas State Bank, in financing the purchase, construction and/or rehabilitation of owner-occupied, rental or transitional housing, as well as housing for homeless individuals in communities. AHP funds are targeted toward households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area.

In 2018, FHLB Dallas awarded $14 million in AHP grants to 29 affordable housing projects. In Mississippi, more than $6 million AHP grants were awarded, equaling to almost 900 units.

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said the AHP brings affordable housing to communities.

"To assist in the converting of unused, abandoned historic space into affordable residences is what the AHP is truly about," Mr. Hettrick said. "We're pleased to partner with Tensas State Bank in the creation of more affordable living opportunities in Natchez."

To learn more about the AHP, visit

About Tensas Bancshares, Inc.

Since 1922, we have served Tensas and surrounding parishes and counties. Our goal has always been to provide our customers with great solutions and services at the local level. We are local people making local decisions. Tensas State Bank; Homegrown since 1922 and proud to be Loyal to Local.

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 $69.0 billion as of March 31, 2019, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 820 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit for more information.

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Contact Information:

Corporate Communications
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas