Carpenter's Helper gets $29,200 in grants

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Several local banks and a federal home loan institution have awarded a Hattiesburg-based organization which rehabilitates substandard housing nearly $30,000 in grants. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and 5 other banks have given The Carpenter's Helper 5 Partnership Grant Program awards totaling $29,200.

The Carpenter's Helper serves elderly and low-income homeowners in Forrest, Lamar and Perry counties.

The grants are given to non-profit groups which assist with affordable housing and community development.

"Each member bank can contribute anywhere from $500 up to $5,000 and we will match that contribution on a 3-to-1 ratio," said Mark A. Loya, senior affordable housing analyst for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.

"I'm excited about it," said Tom Smith, executive director for The Carpenter's Helper. "It's a great opportunity for us to move forward and help a lot of people," Smith said.

The 5 local banks which contributed to the grants are the Citizens Bank of Philadelphia, The First, A National Banking Association, Grand Bank for Savings, Magnolia State Bank and Trustmark National Bank.

Since its founding in 2004, The Carpenter's Helper has assisted more than 1,200 homeowners.

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