ILFELD, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Before the purchase of his new home, Scot Furgason, of Ilfeld, New Mexico, was renting an apartment unit built inside of a warehouse. The empty-nester father of three and metal sculpting artist felt right at home in the rural community, occupied mostly by artists and blacksmiths, but decided it was time for a change.
Mr. Furgason, a metal sculpting artist, learned about the Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant through Homewise, an organization that partners with Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) members to help low- to moderate-income individuals achieve their homeownership goals. He received a $5,500 HELP grant from FHLB Dallas and New Mexico Bank & Trust, an FHLB Dallas member.
“The ability to purchase my first home is amazing,” said Mr. Furgason. “My wife and I are able get to know our neighbors and be involved in the community. We enjoy walks with our three dogs to the nearby river when the weather is nice.”
Homewise Director of Marketing Rachel Silva said programs like HELP make homeownership an attainable goal by providing down payment assistance.
“Homewise is able to help strengthen the community through the HELP program,” says Ms. Silva. “This support has made it possible for community members to be successful homeowners and be empowered to change their lives.”
HELP grants are offered by FHLB Dallas, through its member financial institutions such as New Mexico Bank & Trust, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on new or existing homes.
“HELP grants serve the community in a very unique way,” said Anne Honstein, senior vice president at New Mexico Bank & Trust. “The grant program provides a vehicle that helps carry hardworking residents on the road to homeownership. Our partnership with FHLB Dallas is a vital part of our commitment to make affordable housing available to the community.”
Since the program’s inception in 2002, HELP grants totaling more than $17.2 million have assisted more than 3,300 families. The $3.75 million in funds FHLB Dallas made available through its members in 2019 have been exhausted.
“The HELP grant gives our members the opportunity to assist hard-working residents who have been impeded by the upfront costs on their first home,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas.
Without the grant, Mr. Furgason said he would still be living in an apartment unit inside of a warehouse, continuing to pay rent.
“I love everything about homeownership and being able to fix repairs on a home that is finally ours,” said Mr. Furgason.
Since 1986, Homewise has been helping people achieve their homeownership goals. This is done by focusing on customers and placing their long-term financial wellbeing as the highest priority. Homewise believes that strong homeowners help build healthy, vibrant communities and with the right tools and support, people can be empowered to change their lives. The Homewise mission is to help create successful homeowners and strengthen neighborhoods so that individuals and families can improve their long-term financial well-being and quality of life.
About New Mexico Bank & Trust
New Mexico Bank & Trust is a community bank with assets of more than $1.3 billion and 17 offices in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Espanola, Tierra Amarilla, Clovis and Portales. With a focus on business and personal lending, and deposit services, we are dedicated to making Great Things Happen! for our customers. For more information, visit nmb-t.com or call 505.830.8102. New Mexico Bank & Trust is a member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
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 $74.5 billion as of June 30, 2019, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 810 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.