updated 3/16/2011 2:46:17 PM ET 2011-03-16T18:46:17

CALERA, Ala., March 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The city of Calera has long awaited an affordable housing subdivision to accommodate its rapidly growing population, but until now, the need has not been properly addressed. With assistance from a $98,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant through BancorpSouth and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity (Birmingham Habitat) will complete the development of Shiloh Creek, one of the city's first affordable housing subdivisions.

Calera is a small, rural city in Shelby County, located 30 miles south of Birmingham, Alabama, with a population of more than 10,000 residents. Calera has had tremendous growth in the past decade, growing from a one-stoplight town to a city with restaurants, hotels, and retail development. Affordable housing in Calera has been an ongoing issue as the city has grown, but with expansion of Birmingham Habitat into the area, the new subdivision will provide approximately 30 new, affordable, and quality homes.

Birmingham Habitat, which was established in 1987, originally served only Jefferson County, but has since expanded its reach to incorporate Shelby County after its Habitat affiliate dissolved. Birmingham Habitat purchased the Shiloh Creek subdivision after it was foreclosed upon and left unfinished by the developer. Three homes were under construction when the property was foreclosed, and approximately 30 lots were cleared and ready for construction. Birmingham Habitat will rehabilitate and complete the existing homes, and construct new homes on the remaining lots to sell to Habitat homebuyers. Paved roads, sidewalks, and plumbing lines already exist in the subdivision, making it a bit easier for Birmingham Habitat to complete the work.

"We are very excited to have such a significant project in Shelby County," said Beth Jerome, vice president of marketing and development at Birmingham Habitat. "Birmingham Habitat has had strong ties to Jefferson County, and we are trying to strengthen our ties as we expand into Shelby County. There is a significant need for quality affordable housing in that area, and we are happy to take advantage of an opportunity that will have a significant impact in Shelby County."

Birmingham Habitat is one of the largest Habitat affiliates in the country, serving an area with a population of more than 1 million residents. In 2010, Birmingham Habitat constructed 47 new homes and rehabilitated 30 homes for resale. 

Buffy Murphy, assistant vice president of community affairs and compliance at BancorpSouth, has worked closely with Birmingham Habitat since 2004 by serving on its family selection committee. Ms. Murphy said Birmingham Habitat has had a tremendous impact on the community, and strives to address the affordable housing needs across the metropolitan and rural areas.

"Working with Birmingham Habitat on the Shiloh Creek development gives BancorpSouth the chance to address a critical need in an area right in our backyard," said Ms. Murphy. "The greater Birmingham community is very fortunate to have such a prominent organization that truly cares about our community and the families that live here. BancorpSouth's mission is to be a leader in the community and have a positive impact in the regions that we serve. Birmingham Habitat is a great fit and a great partner for our mission."

Construction on Shiloh Creek subdivision is expected to begin in June, with 10 homes expected to be completed by the end of the year. Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants issued by its member financial institutions, such as BancorpSouth, to assist in the development of affordable owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households.  Through its member institutions, FHLB Dallas awarded $18.5 million in AHP grants in 2010.

About BancorpSouth

BancorpSouth, Inc. is a $13.6 billion-asset financial holding company.  The company operates approximately 312 banking and insurance locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.  In addition to providing traditional banking services, credit cards, mortgages, trust and fiduciary services, the company provides investment services through its subsidiary BancorpSouth Investment Services, Inc. and insurance services through its subsidiary BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc.  BancorpSouth's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BXS.                  

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 $39.7 billion as of December 31, 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 website at fhlb.com.

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


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

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