LAKE CHARLES, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Louisiana State Senator Ronnie Johns (District 27) joined representatives yesterday from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), First Federal Bank of Louisiana (FFBLA) and First National Bank of Louisiana (FNBLA) to award $20,000 in Partnership Grant Program (PGP) funds to Project Build a Future. An affordable housing nonprofit, Project Build a Future will use the funds to expand its home rehabilitation program, provide staff training and invest in technology.
“Communities benefit when financial institutions come together through programs such as the PGP,” said Senator Johns. “I applaud the banks’ support of Project Build a Future’s important mission.”
In 2016, Project Build a Future celebrated the construction of its 100th home and the organization’s 15th anniversary. Inspired by local churches’ commitment to affordable housing, Father Henry Mancuso established the nonprofit in 2001 while serving at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Since then, Project Build a Future has expanded to include home construction, rehabilitation and a matched-savings program for qualified homebuyers.
“There’s a perception that a house that’s falling down or has fewer amenities is affordable,” said Charla Blake, executive director at Project Build a Future. “Many people have been displaced over the past few years as landlords have come in and raised rents out of reach. There is a growing demand for affordable housing in Lake Charles, and this grant will help us to meet that need.”
Through the PGP, FHLB Dallas matches a member’s contribution to a community-based organization (CBO) of $500 up to $4,000 at a 3:1 ratio for a maximum $12,000 contribution. Awarded annually via a lottery system through FHLB Dallas members, PGP grants may be used for research, organizational capacity-building, grant- and funding-application assistance or contractual services.
FNBLA Vice President Roxanna Mize said Project Build a Future’s planned use of funding for online training makes sense for homebuyers in its education program.
“Project Build a Future requires homebuyers to attend classes, usually on Saturdays, to prepare them for homeownership,” said Ms. Mize. “This can be a challenge for buyers who work two or three jobs to be able to afford a home. The nonprofit’s investment in computers and online training creates needed flexibility for buyers to meet all their commitments. It’s this kind of forward thinking that really drew our support. Thank you, Project Build a Future for caring about our community!”
Due to income requirements, some homebuyers cannot afford brand new homes, said FFBLA CRA Coordinator Melissa Dickson, so Project Build a Future’s home rehabilitation program is a good option for them.
“The home rehab program opens doors for homebuyers who otherwise might not be able to afford a home,” said Ms. Dickson. “Like FFBLA, Project Build a Future actively looks for opportunities to best serve their clients. We are thankful for this partnership and for being able to positively impact our community through the PGP.”
In 2017, FHLB Dallas awarded $300,000 in PGP funds through 31 member institutions to assist 30 CBOs. Combined with the $104,550 contributed by FHLB Dallas members, a total of $404,550 was awarded to the organizations.
“We are pleased to partner with FFBLA and FNBLA to support Project Build a Future’s affordable housing mission,” said Bruce Hatton, vice president and Affordable Housing Program manager at FHLB Dallas. “The PGP was established to fill a unique niche among nonprofits. Other grant programs typically restrict the use of funds for operational, training or marketing expenses.”
For more information, visit fhlb.com/pgp.
About First Federal Bank of Louisiana
First Federal Bank of Louisiana is a full-service, locally owned, community bank that has helped build the communities we serve for over 65 years. With 16 branches serving 10 cities in Louisiana, we are proud to offer our customers a wide variety of products and services to meet all of their financial needs. We offer Personal and Business Checking Accounts, Savings and CD’s, multiple Retirement Options, Home Equity Credit Lines, as well as Mortgages and Consumer Loans. Our established Investment and Insurance divisions also offer a full line of products for First Federal Bank customers.
About First National Bank of Louisiana
First National Bank of Louisiana is an independent community bank whose mission is to ensure that the stability of the communities surrounding Crowley, Louisiana is strengthened by its commitment to delivering courteous, attentive, and personal service. Established in the 1920s, the bank has grown to hold $389 million in assets. First National Bank is committed to attracting and retaining exceptional personnel who are motivated to serve their customers’ ever-changing needs, as well as building strategic partnerships to enhance shareholder value. For more information, visit fnb-la.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 $62.9 billion as of June 30, 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.