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  • April 29, 2022

Georgia Mother Receives $6K Subsidy to Purchase First Home
The First and FHLB Dallas Award First-Time Homebuyer Funds

Ashley Hugley, a Valdosta, Georgia, mother of two, leveraged $6K in Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership funds from The First Bank and FHLB Dallas to purchase her first home through Valdosta-Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity.
VALDOSTA, GEORGIA, April 29, 2022 — Ashley Hugley, 35, purchased her first home in Valdosta, Georgia, with the help of a $6,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) subsidy from The First Bank (The First) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). Representatives from the banks and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity (Valdosta-Lowndes Habitat) celebrated recently at a ceremonial check presentation at Ms. Hugley’s new home. 

Prior to her purchase, Ms. Hugley, lived in her mother’s home, along with her uncle and two children.  

“I was looking for a three-bedroom house so my kids could have their own space,” said Ms. Hugley. “It’s a wonderful feeling to purchase a home and call it mine. I thought I’d never get here.”

Ms. Hugley learned about HELP from Valdosta-Lowndes Habitat, which she had worked with to help build her new home. 

For Mike Bourgoin, executive director of Valdosta-Lowndes Habitat, his passion is helping people through the organization’s mission.  

“I come to work every day feeling like I am doing something good,” Mr. Bourgoin said. “The HELP funds were critical in this instance as the price of the home spiked due to shortages in materials. The funds made it comfortable to afford for Ms. Hugley and her family, enabling them to buy their first home.”

Jud Moritz, Valdosta’s market president at The First, said HELP is a great program that enables people to begin building equity in a home. 
“HELP gives us the opportunity to invest in our communities and create affordable opportunities,” said Mr. Moritz. “We are always excited and honored to take part in the program and partner with FHLB Dallas.”

HELP subsidies are offered by FHLB Dallas through its member institutions, like The First, to assist first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on new or existing homes. For 2022, FHLB Dallas set aside $4 million available through its members on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit to view the current availability of HELP funds.

“The rise in home prices presents a challenge for low- to moderate-income families stepping into homeownership,” said FHLB Dallas First Vice President and Director of Community Investment Greg Hettrick. “HELP is a great program our members can leverage to help families make a home in their community. We are honored to partner with The First in providing the funds to Ms. Hugley.” 

About The First Bancshares Inc.
The First Bancshares, Inc., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First Bank. Founded in 1996 near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, The First has grown rapidly through South Mississippi, South Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia providing services competitive to those found at larger regional banks. The company’s stock is traded on Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol FBMS. Information is available on the company’s website

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 $62.6 billion as of March 31, 2022, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit our website at

Contact Information:

Corporate Communications
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas