- September 14, 2020
HARRISON, ARKANSAS, September 14, 2020 – Simmons Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) have provided a $150,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to help low-income families purchase homes built by the Northwest Regional Housing Authority.
The grant will assist families and individuals in rural, economically depressed communities in northwest Arkansas with down payments and construction costs so they can qualify to buy new homes.
"The Affordable Housing Program is a breath of fresh air for us," said Neal Gibson, executive director of the Northwest Regional Housing Authority. "We get families and individuals who would fall through the cracks. Most of the people we serve are low- or very-low income. The grant provides the extra help they need to be able to build a house."
Mr. Gibson said the housing authority builds about 14 houses a year in rural areas where new construction is rare.
Martie North, senior vice president and director of Community Development for Simmons Bank, said the Northwest Regional Housing Authority has impacted the lives of hundreds of people by providing quality, affordable housing throughout the northern Arkansas region.
"Investing in the communities where we operate, work and play is a priority of Simmons Bank," Ms. North said. "We are excited to partner with organizations such as the Northwest Regional Housing Authority to expand affordable housing options in this region of the state. The Affordable Housing Program grant offered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas provides us a wonderful way to do that."
FHLB Dallas awards AHP grants annually through members like Simmons Bank to support the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units, among other uses. In 2019, FHLB Dallas, through its members, awarded $17 million in AHP grants to 35 projects that will result in 2,122 new or renovated housing units. Of that total, $2 million was awarded to Arkansas projects and will result in 231 new or rehabilitated housing units.
AHP funds are intended to assist FHLB Dallas members in financing the purchase, construction and/or rehabilitation of owner-occupied, rental or transitional housing, as well as housing for homeless individuals in their community. AHP funds must be used to benefit households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area.
Since the AHP's inception in 1990, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $300 million in AHP and AHP set-aside programs and has assisted more than 53,500 households.
"Over the years we've seen that just as poverty knows no boundaries, the need for quality, affordable housing does not stop when you reach the city limits," said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "We were pleased to partner with Simmons Bank to help fund the great work of the Northwest Regional Housing Authority as it brings new, quality, affordable homes to rural northwest Arkansas."
For more information about the AHP, visit fhlb.com/ahp.
About Simmons Bank
Simmons Bank is an Arkansas state-chartered bank that began as a community bank in 1903. Through the decades, Simmons has developed a full suite of financial products and services designed to meet the needs of individual consumers and business customers alike. Simmons operates more than 200 branch locations throughout Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, and is the subsidiary bank for Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ: SFNC), a publicly traded bank holding company headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas with $21 billion in assets. For more information, visit https://simmonsbank.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 $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 fhlb.com for more information.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas