NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 1987, Barbara Thibodeaux inherited the New Orleans, Louisiana, home where she was raised. Today, at 70, arthritis in her knees means Ms. Thibodeaux needs a walker with wheels to get around, and the steps she used to bound up now seems insurmountable.
Then, she learned about A Brush with Kindness (ABWK), a program offered by the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH). The exterior home preservation service provides repairs for homeowners in need.
Funding for many of these home repairs, including Ms. Thibodeaux's, comes through the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and its member institutions like State-Investors Bank. SNAP grants are offered on a first-come, first-served basis to provide funding that assists income-qualified, special-needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications.
"The SNAP program has allowed NOAHH to help more low-income homeowners than ever before," said NOAHH Assistant Director of Advancement Jenna Turnage. "SNAP allows us to provide wheelchair ramps, electrical repairs, and termite treatments. These urgently needed improvements enable homeowners to remain in homes they've lived in for decades. The impact of these projects is more than personal accessibility, safety, and stability; the entire neighborhood benefits. Without the support of FHLB Dallas and State-Investors Bank, this would not be possible."
Sharon Scullin, vice president of Loan Processing at State-Investors Bank, said the SNAP program is designed to help people who may not have other options to pay for crucial repairs that affect their well-being.
"This program really is designed for homeowners like Ms. Thibodeaux," Ms. Scullin said. "SNAP grants provide funding for necessary repairs that recipients otherwise couldn't afford. The ramp installed at the Thibodeaux home will provide her with a better quality of life."
The improvement began immediately for Ms. Thibodeaux. "It has been much better for me and more convenient," she said. "I got a ramp placed on the side of my home so that I can easily get in and out with my walker."
In 2015, FHLB Dallas made $1.5 million in SNAP grants available in two rounds. The first $750,000, offered in January, was snapped up in 11 days. The second offering of $750,000 was exhausted in less than four hours when it became available on August 3.
"SNAP is one of the most sought-after grant programs at FHLB Dallas," said Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "We realize there is a tremendous need for the type of specialized assistance that SNAP provides, and we are honored to be able to provide this funding through our members."
Since SNAP's inception in 2009, nearly $9.2 million has been awarded in grants through member institutions to assist 1,846 families across FHLB Dallas' five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. In the first quarter of 2015, Louisiana was awarded more than $223,000 in SNAP grants that assisted 49 families.
About State Investors Bancorp, Inc.
State Investors Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for State-Investors Bank, which conducts business from four full-service banking offices in the New Orleans metropolitan area. The common stock of State Investors trades on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol "SIBC." At June 30, 2015, State Investors had total assets of $262 million, total deposits of $151 million, total loans of $209 million, and shareholders' equity of $42 million.
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 $42.6 billion as of June 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.
About New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH), an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. NOAHH builds new houses in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, communities, and homeowner families to eliminate poverty housing in the New Orleans area while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Since its inception in 1983 NOAHH has built 440 homes for low-income families in need of adequate shelter. NOAHH plans to continue to build homes and fight substandard housing in the New Orleans area. www.habitat-nola.org
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
SOURCE Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas