COLUMBUS, Miss., Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Columbus-Lowndes Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) today received a $12,000 Partnership Grant Program (PGP) award from BankFirst Financial Services and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) in a check presentation.
The funds will be used to buy materials needed to replace the mansard of Habitat's recently purchased building, intended for offices and the Habitat ReStore. The ReStore will serve as a donation center where the community may donate gently used furniture, appliances, and building materials, which will be resold at discounted prices. Proceeds will be used to fund future Habitat projects.
BankFirst Financial Services Fair Lending and CRA Officer Ralph Carter said the grant will allow Habitat to use its existing capital to build more homes.
"Without the grant, they would have had to use their capital to make necessary updates to their new building," he said.
Mr. Carter also serves on Habitat's Family Selection committee and helps review applications for partner families. Working with Habitat — an organization he "already believes in" — gives him a firsthand perspective of the need for affordable housing in the Columbus-Lowndes area, he said.
The Columbus-Lowndes Habitat affiliate was established in 1989 after members of the community expressed concern about living conditions of the area's very low- to moderate-income residents. Since then, the affiliate has constructed 44 homes.
"In order to continue fulfilling our mission of putting God's love into action and building homes, we must also take care of our building, so we may serve our community properly," said Kathy Arinder, executive director of Columbus-Lowndes Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to building homes for very low-income citizens, Ms. Arinder said that the organization aims to increase its reach in 2016 to serve a wider range of families, especially homeowners who are elderly or disabled.
Presented annually, PGP awards provide grants up to $12,000 to community-based organizations (CBOs), like Columbus-Lowndes Habitat for Humanity. The funds may be used for research, organizational capacity-building, grant- and funding-application assistance, or contractual services. The structure of the PGP allows FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as BankFirst Financial Services, to contribute $500 to $4,000 to a CBO, which FHLB Dallas will match at a 3:1 ratio. In 2015, FHLB Dallas awarded $225,000 in PGP funds to support 25 organizations. For more information, visit fhlb.com.
Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said the PGP awards are crucial to the continued success of community-based organizations such as Habitat in achieving their objectives.
"It is our pleasure to partner with BankFirst Financial Services to benefit residents of the Columbus-Lowndes area," said Mr. Hettrick. "Our goal is to make affordable housing available to as many people in our five-state District as we can."
About BankFirst Financial Services
Established in 1888, BankFirst Financial Services currently operates 12 branch locations in Mississippi and Alabama. BankFirst Financial Services has been a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) since 2010, whose board of directors and management team are committed to the vision of "becoming the dominant, community-focused, independent bank in the markets we serve."
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 $43.0 billion as of September 30, 2015, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 865 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
SOURCE Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas