TUPELO, MS - This is news release from Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
Fourteen first-time homebuyers who are disabled or elderly will receive financial assistance through a $140,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to the University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies. BancorpSouth Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) awarded the grant, which will be applied toward the homebuyers' down payments, closing costs, and mortgage principal.
The homes will be located on scattered sites across the state. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants beginning the first quarter of 2016.
"The focus of the USM Institute for Disability Studies aligns well with the mission of the Affordable Housing Program," said Evelyn Edwards, vice president and Community Reinvestment Act specialist at BancorpSouth Bank. "We have been partners with the Institute for more than seven years. They have an excellent track record of facilitating grants."
FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions. AHP grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly, and special needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes.
"In Mississippi, there are an estimated 350,000 people with disabilities," said Heather Steele, associate coordinator for Housing Services at the USM Institute for Disability Studies, "This is the highest rate per population of disabilities in the country. Our organization is committed to providing programs and services that promote independence and inclusion of persons with disabilities."
Nationwide, an estimated 54 million Americans are living with some form of disability, according to data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and reported on disabilitystatistics.org, a website of U.S. disability statistics maintained by Cornell University.
This year's AHP award coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination based on disabilities. July 2015 also marked the 25th anniversary of the AHP. Since the program's inception, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $237 million in AHP grants to help approximately 44,000 families obtain affordable, quality housing. Since 1990, Mississippi has been awarded more than $37.8 million in competitive AHP grants.
Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, praised the work of BancorpSouth Bank and the USM Institute for Disability Studies.