updated 12/7/2010 4:17:07 PM ET 2010-12-07T21:17:07

LAKE CHARLES, La., Dec. 7, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and First Federal Bank of Louisiana are pleased to announce they have awarded Habitat for Humanity of Calcasieu Area (HFH of Calcasieu) in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a $70,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The grant will assist seven very low-income homeowners in Calcasieu and Beauregard parishes with down payment and closing cost assistance.

"The AHP funds will help our homeowners lower their monthly mortgage payments, making the homes affordable," said Emily Davault, grants manager for HFH of Calcasieu.

The organization will award each of the seven families $10,000 to assist with their down payments. HFH of Calcasieu has identified two families that are in the process of applying for their funds. Five of the homes will be built in Lake Charles and two will be built in DeRidder, Louisiana, according to Ms. Davault.

"The AHP funds used to provide the down payment assistance make a huge difference. All of these families have their own stories and it's great to give them help," said Cheryl Burns, vice president of First Federal Bank of Louisiana. "All seven of the prospective homeowners are first-time homebuyers. The AHP grant program is easy to use and helps fill the gap to make affordable housing projects, such as this one, a reality."

First Federal Bank of Louisiana has participated in FHLB Dallas's Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) program, another one of FHLB Dallas's affordable housing programs, for several years, and has partnered with HFH of Calcasieu Area on past projects.

"The Federal Home Loan Bank has many wonderful and easy to use programs that help make housing more affordable," Ms. Burns said.  "As a member bank, First Federal Bank is very pleased to have been able to assist Habitat for Humanity in accessing the Affordable Housing Program grant available through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas. The AHP grants are just another one of FHLB Dallas's many programs that help make homes more affordable."

Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants made through its member institutions to benefit residents of communities in the Bank's five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The AHP grants are used to help fund the purchase, construction, or renovation. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the AHP, through which FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $204 million through members since 1990, to assist more than 38,000 families with their affordable housing needs.

In 2010, FHLB Dallas awarded $18.5 million, through certain member institutions, in AHP grants, including $2.2 million to Louisiana projects to assist with 284 housing units within the state.

About First Federal Bank of Louisiana

First Federal Bank of Louisiana has been in operation since 1949 and is a mutually owned federally charted thrift (savings and loan association) with assets of $654.4 million as of December 2009. First Federal is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana with fifteen full service offices serving Southwest and Central Louisiana.

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

About Habitat for Humanity of Calcasieu

Habitat for Humanity: Calcasieu Area, Inc. is a non-profit ecumenical Christian housing ministry. It was established in 1992 as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, and is dedicated to building decent, affordable homes in partnership with qualified individuals, community volunteers, area churches, and businesses. The houses are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged. Habitat families contribute "sweat equity" by helping to build their homes and the homes of other Habitat for Humanity partner families.

CONTACT:  Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
          Corporate Communications
          (214) 441-8445
          www.fhlb.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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