updated 5/3/2011 12:17:10 PM ET 2011-05-03T16:17:10

BATON ROUGE, La., May 3, 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 $325,804 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to the Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation (UREC) to assist with rehabilitation and construction costs for a low- to moderate-income apartment complex.

The Urban Meadows apartment community is a 68-unit, multifamily property in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The community consists of 17 buildings on a 3.5-acre campus. The AHP funds will be used toward rehabilitating the exteriors of 12 buildings, as well as the interiors of several of the buildings. Some of the interior rehabilitation includes updating the flooring, installing new light fixtures, replacing outdated cabinetry, and applying fresh coats of paint.

"The buildings are in need of some exterior and interior repairs. It has been nearly 15 years since the last updates occurred," said Emel Alexander, executive director of UREC, which owns the buildings. "Having the AHP grant allows us to keep the rents affordable while making the upgrades."

The majority of the households at Urban Meadows are low-income, single-parent families, as well as some seniors, according to Mr. Alexander.

UREC is a nonprofit community development organization that provides affordable housing, small business training, and youth development opportunities across Baton Rouge. UREC worked with Whitney Bank to obtain the AHP grant.

"We have an outstanding partnership with Whitney Bank. Sunada Pool Brookins, at Whitney Bank, is very knowledgeable about the FHLB Dallas program. She offered assistance throughout the application process and made the experience very user friendly," Mr. Alexander said. "We have been impressed with Whitney Bank's overall commitment to community development in East Baton Rouge Parish, and value the overall investment Whitney Bank and FHLB Dallas are making in our community."

All of the renovations to the campus are expected to be complete by fall 2011.

"The renovations and enhancements will provide a better quality of life for the families who live at Urban Meadows," said Ms. Brookins, vice president and community affairs officer for Whitney Bank. "FHLB Dallas has been a great funding resource and UREC's commitment to decent and affordable housing makes this a very rewarding project for everyone involved."

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. Grant 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 $33.2 billion as of March 31, 2011, 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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