updated 10/6/2010 10:16:24 AM ET 2010-10-06T14:16:24

BATON ROUGE, La., Oct. 6, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Whitney National Bank (Whitney Bank) are pleased to announce they have awarded a $250,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) for the construction of a permanent supportive housing and services facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

GCHP is developing the One Stop Homeless Services Center and Housing (One Stop) project in partnership with the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless, a consortium of social service providers in the Greater Baton Rouge area, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Baton Rouge.

Once constructed, One Stop will co-locate residential and community support services within a three-story facility, where homeless and disabled homeless adults can be housed and supported in an effective and integrated manner by the Continuum of Care agencies of Baton Rouge.

One Stop is an innovative model that provides housing and support services within a campus environment, containing 36 single-resident occupancy units for very low-income, homeless and disabled homeless adults, all located on the upper floors of the facility.

Homeless service providers and other agencies that serve the social, mental, and physical needs of the homeless population will be co-located on the property to provide services to residents and other homeless individuals and families. These services will include outreach case management to chronically homeless individuals, primary medical, pharmacy and dental services targeted to homeless residents, life skills and financial management training, basic employment assistance, job counseling, and training, as well as other services.

The center also will house "day center" locations for men, women, and children in the community, which will provide access to showers, laundry facilities, child care, prepared meals, food staples, toiletries, clothing for job interviews, and access to telephones, computers and Internet, and mail receipt capability, including a "home address" for job applications.

The One Stop project has several funding sources and partners, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of Louisiana Office of Community Development, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority.

The AHP funds will be used toward construction costs for the project.

"The AHP grant has been great because it is helping to fill a financing gap we had with this project," said Cornelius Payne, project manager at GCHP. "The city and state were both very committed to this project. We have been able to get financial subsidies, as well as the AHP grant, to eliminate any hard debt on this project."

The building is expected to open in the winter of 2011. Representatives of GCHP and its partners, as well as the city, FHLB Dallas, and Whitney Bank will attend a groundbreaking today, at 10:00 a.m. (CT) at the site of the project, 153 N. 17th Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Members of the media are welcome to attend. GCHP has received several AHP grants since 2008 totaling more than $1.4 million.

GCHP's grant for One Stop was issued through Whitney Bank. More than $1.9 million in AHP grants were awarded in 2010 through Whitney Bank to support affordable housing projects in Louisiana and Mississippi.

"Whitney is pleased to collaborate on a project that has the backing of state, local, and private entities to provide this much needed housing option in the Baton Rouge community," said Whitney Community Affairs Officer Sunada Pool Brookins.  "The One Stop Homeless Services Center and Housing will help dozens of individuals improve their quality of life by providing them with decent, safe and affordable housing and supportive services."

AHP funds are used to purchase, construct, and/or rehabilitate single-family, transitional, and multifamily projects for very low- to moderate-income families. Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits to the communities served by its member institutions in the form of AHP grants issued through certain of its member financial institutions. The AHP grant to GCHP is part of $18.5 million in AHP grants that FHLB Dallas awarded, through its member institutions, to 79 housing projects in 2010. The grants will help create, renovate, or purchase 2,632 housing units, including more than $2.23 million that was awarded to projects in Louisiana that will assist 284 housing units. 

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

About Whitney National Bank

Whitney Holding Corporation, through its banking subsidiary Whitney National Bank, serves the five-state Gulf Coast region stretching from Houston, Texas; across southern Louisiana and the coastal region of Mississippi; to central and south Alabama; the panhandle of Florida; and the Tampa Bay metropolitan area of Florida.

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