updated 4/21/2011 4:17:01 PM ET 2011-04-21T20:17:01

BATON ROUGE, La., April 21, 2011 (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 $200,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to Habitat for Humanity Greater Baton Rouge (Habitat Baton Rouge). The funds will assist with the development of 20 homes for very low- to low-income families in East Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Feliciana parishes in Louisiana.

The AHP funds were used to provide down payment assistance to the families, several of which have already moved into their new homes.

"It has had a wonderful impact on the families' monthly payments by making those payments much more affordable," said Lynn Clark, executive director of Habitat Baton Rouge. "I have been at the closings with the families and witnessed some of them start to cry when they see how low their monthly mortgage payment will be in comparison to what they were paying for substandard housing. It is a wonderful program that FHLB Dallas offers."

Habitat Baton Rouge worked with Whitney Bank to obtain the AHP grant. This is the third AHP grant that Habitat Baton Rouge has received from FHLB Dallas and Whitney Bank. Including the recent grant, Habitat Baton Rouge has received $550,000 in AHP grants through Whitney Bank since 2007.

"It has been incredibly rewarding to work with Habitat for Humanity Greater Baton Rouge over the years," said Whitney Bank Community Affairs Officer Sunada Pool Brookins. "Our ongoing collaboration successfully aligns our joint resources to make homeownership possible for those who thought it was impossible."

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.  In 2010, FHLB Dallas awarded $18.5 million in AHP grants through member institutions, like Whitney Bank, including more than $2.2 million in Louisiana, to support 284 housing units within the state. More than $1.9 million in AHP grants was awarded through Whitney Bank in 2010 to support affordable housing projects in Louisiana and Mississippi.

In 2011, FHLB Dallas is offering $10.5 million in AHP grants through its member institutions. Award recipients will be announced this summer.

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

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.

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

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