updated 5/4/2011 2:47:28 PM ET 2011-05-04T18:47:28

TUPELO, Miss., May 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and BancorpSouth are pleased to announce they have awarded a $175,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to the Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC) to provide low-income, first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs.

NDC has offered financial and educational support for low-income, first-time homebuyers since 2007. The AHP grant will enable NDC to provide $7,000 to 25 qualified homebuyers to use toward purchasing a home in Lee, Itawamba, Monroe, Union, Prentiss, and Chickasaw counties. The grants will be distributed to 20 rural households and five urban households. Five of the grants are reserved for special needs families.

Each year, FHLB Dallas returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants that are distributed through its member institutions, such as BancorpSouth. AHP assists in the development of affordable, owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households located primarily within FHLB Dallas's five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.

Peggy Woods, community coordinator at NDC, works to facilitate the grant funding and manage the homebuyer program. She said NDC has helped approximately 30 families move into their first home since the program's inception.

"So many of our applicants come to us because they have the means to pay a monthly mortgage, but they are unable to come up with the large lump sum for the down payment to purchase a home," said Ms. Woods. "Our program helps fill the funding gap and provide the extra cash that these families simply do not have. NDC also provides homebuyer education courses to help our applicants transition from renters to homeowners, and to help them with all the responsibilities that come with homeownership."

BancorpSouth has been a partner in NDC's efforts for many years. BancorpSouth Vice President Chip Ashford worked to facilitate the funding for the AHP grant, and said BancorpSouth is a proud partner in NDC's efforts to assist local homebuyers in purchasing their first home.

"This has been one of the best and most fruitful partnerships for BancorpSouth and our community," said Mr. Ashford.   "It is truly rewarding to be able to help so many people in Northeast Mississippi by providing that little extra assistance they may need in order to purchase their first home. To see the customers' faces after they have realized their dream is a feeling I can't explain, and we are looking forward to helping many more potential homeowners in the future. NDC makes my job as facilitator very easy and delightful. It is always a pleasure to work with them and the new homeowners."

NDC also partners with other community organizations, such as USDA Rural Development and Home of Your Own, to provide assistance in addressing Mississippi's housing needs.

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

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

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