HATTIESBURG, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fifteen Gulf Coast homeowners received up to a $10,000 subsidy to assist with repairing damages to their homes as a result of 2020’s hurricanes, Laura, Delta and Zeta, that pummeled the Gulf Coast. The funds are part of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas’ (FHLB Dallas) Disaster Rebuilding Assistance.
The program provides funds for the repair and rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing affected by a federally declared disaster within FHLB Dallas’ five-state District. This year, The First, A National Banking Association (The First) was among the many members who participated in the program.
Peggy Parker, of Waveland, Mississippi, was just one of the 15 Disaster Rebuilding Assistance subsidy recipients from The First and FHLB Dallas. Ms. Parker’s home was damaged by Hurricane Zeta in October 2020, and she received a $4,745 subsidy to make several repairs.
“They replaced my storm door, painted the front and back doors, repaired the front porch, painted the ceiling in the kitchen and dining room, and they replaced the plastic covering underneath my home,” Ms. Parker said. “I would not have been able to make any of these repairs if it weren’t for the funds. I would have had to just live with what was dealt to me from Zeta.”
Together, The First and FHLB Dallas provided $110,198 to 15 homeowners along the Gulf Coast, and for Lauren Wilson, community development specialist at The First, it has been an amazing feeling to provide help to her community.
“Distributing the Disaster Rebuilding Assistance funds to people in need is a great feeling,” Ms. Wilson said. “We couldn’t have done this alone. Our nonprofit partners, Hancock Resource Center and Back Bay Mission, did the majority of the heavy lifting to ensure our homeowners’ needs were met. And we are very grateful for our partnership with FHLB Dallas, which helped provide the funds.”
In 2021, FHLB Dallas set aside $500,000 for Disaster Rebuilding Assistance. The funds are disbursed through member institutions like The First on a first-come, first-served basis, one homeowner at a time.
Ms. Wilson added that the program helps the bank maintain relationships and assist people who need it most.
“We are building and maintaining a relationship with the community,” she said. “We are someone they can turn to in a time of need, especially during a pandemic when funds and resources can be limited.”
Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said the program is a great tool to help support recovery efforts after a natural disaster.
“Natural disasters such as hurricanes can devastate a region with very short notice. We offer financial assistance tools for our members, like The First, and their communities through programs such as the Disaster Rebuilding Assistance program to support the recovery process,” said Mr. Hettrick.
Ms. Wilson said she highly recommends the program to other banks in her community.
“It is an amazing program. The pool of money helps lift a weight off the community,” she said. “As a community bank, serving people is our focus. It is a very easy process, and the staff at FHLB Dallas have been very helpful.”
About The First Bancshares Inc.
The First Bancshares, Inc., headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the parent company of The First, A National Banking Association. Founded in 1996 near Hattiesburg, Mississippi, The First has grown rapidly through South Mississippi, South Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia providing services competitive to those found at larger regional banks. The company’s stock is traded on Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol FBMS. Information is available on the company’s website www.TheFirstBank.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 $61.1 billion as of March 31, 2021, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit our website at fhlb.com.