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  • September 09, 2020

Neighborhood STRONG Receives $300K Grant to Improve Housing Quality
Austin Bank and FHLB Dallas Provide Funds for Home Renovations

LUFKIN, TEXAS, September 9, 2020 – Austin Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) have awarded a $300,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to Neighborhood STRONG's Area Revitalization project. The Lufkin, Texas-based Neighborhood STRONG plans to attract minority populations through its affirmative marketing plan to apply for home repairs and modifications.

The organization strives to empower homeowners and improve their lives by renovating their homes to become self-sufficient.

Neighborhood STRONG Executive Director Wayne Lawrence, Ph.D., said the AHP funds will help the organization expand its services for the next three years.

"We should be able to do about 30 renovation projects, and we're going to be able to expand beyond the city of Lufkin," Dr. Lawrence said. "We will expand first into the rural areas of Angelina County, and the following years we will expand into the adjacent counties. Neighborhood STRONG sincerely appreciates the support of Austin Bank and FHLB Dallas as one of the largest funding sources."

Debbie Braune, Austin Bank senior vice president and CRA officer, said AHP grants help organizations better serve their community.

"As a community bank, Austin Bank is committed to meeting the needs of the communities we serve," Ms. Braune said. "We appreciate the opportunity to partner with FHLB Dallas through its Affordable Housing Program and assist this outstanding organization in maximizing funds to help fulfill their mission. This grant ensures that people who most need the help will benefit from it."

FHLB Dallas awards AHP grants annually through members like Austin Bank to support the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units, among other uses. In 2019, FHLB Dallas awarded $17 million in AHP grants to 35 projects that will result in 2,122 new or renovated housing units. Of that, $4 million was awarded to Texas projects, and will result in 663 new or rehabilitated housing units.

"The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is honored to be working with Austin Bank and Neighborhood STRONG to provide much-needed home renovations," Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas said. "We appreciate Austin Bank's commitment to community outreach."

For more information about the AHP, visit

About Austin Bank
Austin Bank is a community bank with assets in excess of $1.9 billion. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Texas, Austin Bank serves the needs of families and businesses with more than 480 employees in 34 locations, 24 cities and 12 counties. During 2019, Austin Bank employees gave countless hours of volunteer service, and the Bank contributed nearly $700,000 in direct support of local education, the arts, literacy, health and housing needs. Austin Bank is locally owned and operated by the Austin Family who is celebrating 111 years of serving the banking industry. For more information about Austin Bank, please 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 $75 billion as of June 30, 2020, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit for more information.

Contact Information:

Corporate Communications
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas