updated 11/4/2010 1:17:16 PM ET 2010-11-04T17:17:16

GARLAND, Texas, Nov. 4, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Professional Bank are pleased to announce they have awarded a $14,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Garland (HFHGG) to assist with the construction of two single family homes in Dallas County.

The AHP grant will be used to purchase construction material for the two homes, both of which will accommodate single mothers and their children. The homes will be constructed by HFHGG volunteers, as well as students enrolled in the Building Trades class at Naaman Forest High School and North Garland High School. HFHGG has partnered with the Garland Independent School District for seven years to provide high school students with hands-on building experience. Students from the two high schools collaborate to build one home each school year, and often attend the dedication ceremony honoring the family once the home is complete.

"We construct, on average, four homes a year for residents in the Greater Garland area," said Beth Leos, development director for HFHGG. "Our partnership with the local high schools is such a positive experience for all parties involved. It provides real-life experience for the students, additional volunteers for Habitat, and a new home for the recipient families. By working on the homes together, the students, volunteers, and families share in the experience of helping those in the Garland community."

According to HFHGG, many of the students apply the skills they learned in the Building Trade's Class and pursue careers in construction science. Ms. Leos said community partnerships and funding, like the AHP grant, keep their organization alive. She said the work of HFHGG would not be possible without the support of volunteers and public and private donors.

Mark Smith, president of Professional Bank, worked with Ms. Leos to qualify HFHGG for the AHP grant.

"Professional Bank's community outreach efforts are a vital part of our relationship with our communities," said Mr. Smith. "This opportunity to partner with HFHGG and high school students from our local community has been such a meaningful experience to all of us at the Bank. We hope this collaboration is a catalyst for others in our community to offer a helping hand to keep the Garland community a great place to live and work."

Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants issued through its member financial institutions, such as Professional Bank, to assist in the development of affordable owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households.  In 2010, FHLB Dallas awarded $18.5 million in AHP grants through its member institutions to 79 housing projects, which will help create or renovate 2,632 housing units across FHLB Dallas's five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. Of the $18.5 million awarded, $5.5 million was allocated to projects in Texas which will create or renovate 912 housing units within the state.

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 program. Since 1990, AHP has assisted more than 38,000 families with their affordable housing needs. 

About Professional Bank Garland

Locally owned and managed, Professional Bank is a full service bank, founded in 2004. Professional bank offers classic banking products delivered via attentive, relationship-based service in a warm, friendly and unique atmosphere.  Our bankers are your neighbors. They work, live and raise their own families locally.  As a community bank, Professional Bank is committed to helping improve neighborhoods where our banking centers are located.

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 $51.6 billion as of September 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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