updated 11/12/2010 4:47:13 PM ET 2010-11-12T21:47:13

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss., Nov. 12, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The first home in the new Savannah Pines subdivision is complete, and Savannah Pines, LLC, will host an open house and celebration event on Saturday, November 13, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event welcomes the public and will provide a tour of the new home and information about the subdivision.

Savannah Pines will eventually include more than 200 newly constructed, single-family homes available to families and individuals of all income levels. The first phase will consist of 178 homes with floor plans varying from three to four bedrooms. 

Funding for the development was pooled from multiple sources including the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), The First: A National Banking Association (The First), and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). The First and FHLB Dallas awarded a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to assist 91 income- qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs on a Savannah Pines home.

Saturday's open house will include door prizes, food, drinks and fun for the whole family. The event will be broadcasted by 105.9 FM and entertainment will be provided by Sound Man Danny Infante.  

Other activities will include face painting, Patches the Clown and balloons, finger printing and identification kits for children available through the D'Iberville police department, a "Germination Station" hosted by Biloxi Regional Medical Center, as well as local lenders and mortgage companies such as The First, Hope Credit Union, and Prime Lending to assist with financing for potential clients and future Savannah Pines homeowners. Local realtors will also showcase their services, and representatives from the Bethesda Project will register potential clients for homebuyer education courses.

Guests are welcome to tour the completed home, as well as view available lots and speak with representatives of Savannah Pines, LLC, about the new subdivision.

"We are very pleased and excited to have the first home finished and available for the public to view," said Cheri Infante, project coordinator at Savannah Pines, LLC. "The Mississippi Gulf Coast is in desperate need of quality homes that are affordable for low to moderate-income families. By hosting this open house, we hope to announce our presence and address the housing needs for those in our area that have struggled since Hurricane Katrina. It is truly rewarding to see the progress of the Savannah Pines community, and share in the rebuilding efforts of the Gulf Coast."

The first phase of Savannah Pines is expected to be complete by the end of 2011. Neighborhood amenities will include walking trails, playground, swimming pool, and onsite daycare services. Savannah Pines is located in an award-winning school district where students may attend nearby elementary schools and a brand new high school. It is also conveniently located near retail stores, sand beaches, art and cultural activities, and the historic downtown Ocean Springs. 

"Savannah Pines will have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the Ocean Springs community," said FHLB Dallas President and CEO Terry Smith. "FHLB Dallas is pleased to partner with The First in order to award an AHP grant to this project.  The Savannah Pines subdivision will help to restore hope and prosperity to this region."

Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants issued by its member financial institutions, such as The First, 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, $6.2 million was allocated to projects in Mississippi which will create or renovate 851 housing units within the state. Since 1990, AHP has assisted more than 38,000 families with their affordable housing needs.

About Savannah Pines

Savannah Pines is the first long-term workforce housing community in Ocean Springs, and strives to assist in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast since the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Savannah Pines has received grant funding up to $25,000 per home that will assist families in buying down the sales price of our homes in order to maintain affordability for new homeowners.

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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