updated 9/30/2010 10:17:05 AM ET 2010-09-30T14:17:05

TYLER, Texas, Sept. 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) is pleased to announce that it has awarded a $110,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to Habitat for Humanity of Smith County to support the second year of ReHabitat, its emergency home repair program. Funding was made available through First Federal Bank Texas, a long-time partner of Habitat for Humanity of Smith County and a member institution of FHLB Dallas.

ReHabitat was established in October 2009 to assist qualified low-income seniors with emergency home repairs and necessary modifications. Recipients must be at least 60 years of age, own and live in their home, and have an income of less than 50 percent of the median income of Smith County. Within less than a year, 67 homes have been repaired or modified under ReHabitat, which improved the lives of 109 individuals. ReHabitat utilizes donated materials and volunteers, as well as community partners that provide materials such as paint, flooring, and appliances at a discounted rate.

"I worked on a similar type of renovation program at another Habitat affiliate, and brought the concept with me when I came to Smith County Habitat in 2008," said Jack Wilson, chief operating officer at Habitat for Humanity of Smith County. "The need is so great for this type of program in our area.  Some residents have told me they barely have enough money for food and medicine, so any home repairs aren't even a possibility. This AHP grant will help people continue to live in their own home, and will give them a sense of dignity while lessening their worries during a period that should be considered their golden years."

As ReHabitat approaches its second year, the AHP funds will assist with emergency repair costs for at least 20 qualified recipients. Repairs include leaking roofs and damaged drywall, ceilings and floors, as well as mold damage remediation and handicap home modifications including entrance ramp installation, doorway expansion, and bathroom modifications. ReHabitat has utilized other FHLB Dallas grant programs, but this is its first AHP grant.

First Federal Bank Texas Senior Vice President of Lending Joe Hobson said he is very glad this AHP grant worked out, as it will provide emergency repairs to people in Tyler and Smith County that are in desperate need of assistance.

"First Federal Bank Texas is delighted to work in concert with FHLB Dallas and Habitat for Humanity of Smith County to offer AHP funds to assist these families," said Mr. Hobson. "We have shared a great relationship with Habitat for Humanity of Smith County for many years and have supported them through smaller contributions here and there, but we were only able to assist with a limited number of homes. With the AHP grant, we are able to broaden our services and assist more families. Habitat of Smith County has the right people in the right place with extremely giving hearts, and we are happy to be a part of it."

First Federal Bank Texas opened its doors in July of 1923, and was originally known as First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Tyler. While growing with the community, its history has been intertwined with that of the people, prospering together. Today, more than eighty seven years later, First Federal Bank Texas has assets over $240 million and is dedicated to supporting the financial objectives of its customers and the Tyler community.  

Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants issued by its member financial institutions, such as First Federal Bank Texas. In 2010, FHLB Dallas awarded $18.5 million in AHP grants to help create or renovate 2,632 housing units, of which more than $5.5 million was awarded to projects in Texas to assist 912 housing units. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of AHP, and the $18.5 million represents the largest amount FHLB Dallas has awarded in any single year of the AHP grant program. Since 1990, AHP has assisted more than 38,000 families with their affordable housing needs.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932.  FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $57.1 billion as of June 30, 2010, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to more than 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.  For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas web site at fhlb.com.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3013

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