CONWAY, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With a September wedding planned and a family to support, 24-year-old Skylor Swope has a lot going on. After the birth of his son, Ollie, nearly two years ago, the city of Conway Parks and Recreation employee (who also works as a musician) and his fiancée, Carmen, got serious about owning their first home. While they liked their two-bedroom apartment, they wanted a yard for their son and dog, Duke.
After learning about the Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant program from a Centennial Bank loan officer, Mr. Swope was awarded $7,000 for a down payment from Centennial Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).
HELP grants are offered by FHLB Dallas through its member financial institutions, like Centennial Bank, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on newly constructed or existing homes. The $7,000 grant gave Mr. Swope the necessary capital for a down payment on his new three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.
“I love the house. The location is great and it had everything on our ‘must have’ list,” he said. “The loan closing process with the bank was extremely easy, too.”
Centennial Bank CRA Officer Tonya Weaver said HELP grants are helpful community investment tools because they turn renters into owners.
“HELP grants help create long-term residents in a community,” she said. “It’s also a great way to give our customers that extra boost they need to close on a house.”
Since the program’s inception in 2002, HELP grants totaling more than $17.2 million have assisted more than 3,300 families. FHLB Dallas made available $1 million in HELP funding in 2016 on a first-come, first-served basis and has made $1 million available again in 2017. Visit fhlb.com/help to view current availability of HELP funds.
“Just as its name indicates, the HELP program helps our members’ customers realize their dream of home ownership,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas.
Mr. Swope is spreading the word about HELP.
“Being a homeowner makes me feel great,” he said. “I have stability and since I bought my house, a lot of friends have also looked into buying homes. I’ve told a lot of my friends about the grant program.”
About Home BancShares, Inc.
Home BancShares, Inc. is a bank holding company, headquartered in Conway, Arkansas. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Centennial Bank, provides a broad range of commercial and retail banking plus related financial services to businesses, real estate developers, investors, individuals and municipalities. Centennial Bank has branch locations in Arkansas, Florida, South Alabama and New York City. The Company’s common stock is traded through the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “HOMB.” For more information, please visit www.homebancshares.com or www.my100bank.com.
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 $57.5 billion as of March 31, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.