LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bank OZK and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) today announced Bank OZK was awarding $7,500 to Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas.
Bank OZK received the 2018 FHLB Dallas CARE Award in October from FHLB Dallas. An acronym that stands for “Community Area Revitalization Efforts,” the CARE Award recognizes Bank OZK’s commitment to affordable housing, disaster recovery and community revitalization. As part of the award, Bank OZK received $7,500 to donate to a community-based organization of its choice.
“The need for affordable housing in Arkansas is undeniable, which is why organizations like Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas need the support of financial institutions such as Bank OZK and FHLB Dallas,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The CARE Award and monetary donation from the banks will bring attention to this important issue and help make life easier for some Arkansans.”
Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas constructs and rehabilitates homes in partnership with homebuyers in line with the organization’s vision that everyone needs a “simple, decent, affordable place to live.”
“Partnerships like Bank OZK and FHLB Dallas are critical to enacting effective change in the affordable housing sector,” said U.S. Representative French Hill (R-AR). “I commend them for their support of organizations like Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas that work so diligently to help families achieve homeownership.”
Bank representatives awarded the funds at a check presentation today at Bank OZK’s headquarters. Local dignitaries in attendance included representatives from the offices of Governor Hutchinson, Congressman Hill and Senator John Boozman (R-AR).
“Our main mission is to try to find affordable housing for people in need,” said Lee Bass, interim executive director at Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas. “Without the support of our partners like the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and Bank OZK, we simply couldn’t exist.”
Including advances and grants, Bank OZK has leveraged more than $10 million in FHLB Dallas funding to invest in its communities. Programs include down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers, rehabilitation grants for the elderly and other special-needs households, housing repair and rehabilitation assistance for veterans, operational funding for community-based organizations, small business grants and disaster recovery assistance grants.
“Our partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and our community partners allows us to reach into the community in ways that we can’t otherwise, and allows us to follow our hearts,” said Eric Gustafson, CRA and community development investment officer at Bank OZK. “When you think about how important housing is to the wellbeing of families – particularly children – there are numerous studies that talk about how the quality of housing affects outcomes of school, and health outcomes in a positive way. Our partnership with FHLB Dallas and our community partners like Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas helps to have an impact in this regard.”
Angela Hudson, director of community responsibility at Bank OZK, said using FHLB Dallas’ community investment programs has been integral in helping the bank’s customers address affordable housing needs.
“Our FHLB Dallas membership is invaluable because it enables us to both invest our own dollars, as well as leverage the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, to further efforts of affordable housing and small business development,” said Ms. Hudson.
Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas’ efforts assist residents like Jill Dirito, who before becoming involved with Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas, moved 11 times in 10 years.
“My son went to five elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools,” said Ms. Dirito. “Without Habitat and the support of our community, I don’t know what we would have done.”
Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said the key to enacting positive change in the community is partnership.
“We truly see our members as our partners in the community and it was fitting that Bank OZK should be honored for their contributions to the community,” said Mr. Hettrick. “FHLB Dallas is proud to partner with Bank OZK in positively impacting the lives of Arkansas residents.”
About Bank OZK
Bank OZK (Nasdaq: OZK) is a regional bank providing innovative financial solutions delivered by expert bankers with a relentless pursuit of excellence. Bank OZK has been recognized as the #1 bank in the nation in its asset size for eight consecutive years. Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Bank OZK conducts operations through 251 offices in Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, California, New York, and Mississippi. Bank OZK can be found at www.ozk.com and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or contacted at (501) 978-2265 or P. O. Box 8811, Little Rock, Arkansas 72231-8811.
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 $73.7 billion as of September 30, 2018, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 825 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.