Greenview Drive in Jackson, Mississippi, currently is a half-mile long stretch where blight and decay have taken up unwelcomed residence. The road to a brighter future began yesterday with a blessing of the street and phase one of the development by local religious leaders, who were joined by banking and community representatives.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and member institution, BankPlus, awarded Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area (HFHMCA) a $250,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant in 2013 for the Greenview Drive project. The funds will be used to provide principal reduction and down payment assistance to income-qualified homebuyers.
Representatives from FHLB Dallas and BankPlus attended the event, along with Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber.
"The city of Jackson has been a strong supporter of this revitalization effort," said Mayor Yarber. "It is great to see financial institutions like FHLB Dallas and BankPlus partnering with the city of Jackson and Habitat for Humanity to redevelop this area and provide more quality housing for our residents."
BankPlus has participated in the AHP for several years, including awarding more than $1 million in AHP grants to six projects in 2015.
"BankPlus is serious about making our communities stronger," said Mark Ouellette, first vice president and director of Affordable Housing at BankPlus. "As a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, the AHP provides us a great opportunity to address housing needs in areas we serve through partnerships with strong organizations like Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area. We tend to measure impact in dollars, but when we're talking about improving the quality of life, I believe it is better measured by the genuine smile of a thankful individual we've worked together to help."
Construction of the first two of four Habitat homes will begin September 19, 2015. These homes have been named to identify them during construction and will be known as the "Pope Francis House" and the "Catholic House." The monikers honor the collaboration between Catholic and non-Catholic communities, and also honor Pope Francis' commitment to social justice.
Beginning in October, two more homes will begin construction: The "Episcopal House" and "Bankers House." The latter will be sponsored by nine banking institutions in the tri-county area.
"Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area gratefully acknowledges the AHP grant from FHLB Dallas and BankPlus," said Cindy Griffin, executive director of HFHMCA and a member of FHLB Dallas' Advisory Council. "We could not offer homebuyers the incalculable benefits of principal reduction without this grant. It will be make a real difference for families in our community."
FHLB Dallas, in partnership with its member financial institutions, has awarded more than $7.4 million in AHP grants this year to 32 projects, primarily within its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions. AHP grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly, and special-needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes.
"FHLB Dallas is honored to be part of rehabilitating Greenview Drive and to provide financial support in partnership with BankPlus, a valued member that stands with the communities it serves," said Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas.
July 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the AHP. Since the program's inception, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $237 million in AHP and AHP-funded grants to help more than 44,000 families obtain safe, affordable, and quality housing.
BankPlus, with total assets of more than $2.5 billion, has over 60 locations in 34 Mississippi communities. BankPlus offices are located in Belzoni, Bentonia, Brandon, Byram, Canton, Clinton, D'Iberville, Durant, Flora, Flowood, Gluckstadt, Hernando, Holly Bluff, Horn Lake, Isola, Jackson, Lexington, Madison, Meridian, Newton, Olive Branch, Pearl, Picayune, Pickens, Poplarville, Quitman, Ridgeland, Shubuta, Southaven, Stonewall, Tchula, Tupelo, Waynesboro and Yazoo City. For additional information on BankPlus, please visit www.BankPlus.net.
About Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area
Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area (HFHMCA) is a nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Working in partnership with low income families and using volunteer labor and donated materials whenever possible, the organization is building basic, affordable houses that are then sold to families at cost with no profit or interest. Since its founding in 1986, HFHMCA has partnered with families to build more than 600 homes in the Mississippi capital area.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $42.6 billion as of June 30, 2015, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 865 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.