COVINGTON, La., Feb. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven low-income families in the St. Tammany West area of Louisiana will now have an affordable place to call "home," thanks in part to a $45,500 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Home Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West (HFHSTW) received the grant in 2015, which was used to assist HFHSTW families with their down payments. The homes are currently under construction and will be completed this year.
Ten years after the storms that devastated south Louisiana in 2005, residents continue to face challenges as affordable housing remains scarce. Although St. Tammany West Parish is one of the wealthiest parishes in Louisiana, there are many neighborhoods that are blighted by substandard housing conditions. Jeffery St. Romain, president and CEO of HFHSTW, says St. Tammany West is just starting to receive recognition as an area "in need."
"Major issues with these houses include poor plumbing, and heating and cooling," said Mr. St. Romain. "Residents pay too much because of how poorly the homes are constructed as well as the age of the homes. Once they get into one of our (HFHSTW) homes, they pay on average $400 on their notes after having paid much more for substandard housing."
Mr. St. Romain credits HFHSTW's long-standing relationship with FHLB Dallas and Home Bank as part of the initiative to make affordable housing more available to residents.
"There is no entity that has helped fund down payment assistance for Habitat homebuyers as much as FHLB Dallas," said Mr. St. Romain. "We are happy to partner with them and Home Bank to help provide a safe, decent place to live for St. Tammany Parish residents."
HFHSTW recently hosted a Habitat for Humanity International event called "Decade of Dedication Build," where FHLB Dallas, Home Bank, and various other community partners were recognized for their involvement in rebuilding the Gulf Coast region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Mary Hopkins, first vice president and director of Financial Management at Home Bank, agrees that there is a tremendous need for affordable housing in the St. Tammany West area.
"There are so many would-be homeowners who are unable to take the first step in homeownership because they cannot afford the down payment," said Ms. Hopkins. "Thanks to our partnership with FHLB Dallas, we are able to help seven families make that leap."
Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, applauds Home Bank's dedication to making affordable housing more available to residents of the St. Tammany West area.
"It is our privilege to help our members serve their communities, especially when there is such a great need for affordable housing," said Mr. Hettrick. "We are proud to partner with Home Bank to provide affordable housing assistance to the St. Tammany West Parish community."
FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions. AHP grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly, and special-needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes.
FHLB Dallas, in partnership with its member financial institutions, has awarded more than $7.4 million in AHP grants to 32 projects, primarily within its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
About Home Bank
Home Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for Home Bank, National Association, a nationally chartered bank headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana. Home Bank, N.A. offers a full range of deposit and loan products through 27 banking centers in growing regions of Louisiana and Mississippi: Acadiana, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, the Northshore (of Lake Pontchartrain), Natchez, and Vicksburg. Home Bancorp, Inc. trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "HBCP."
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 investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 865 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
SOURCE Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas