$450K Grant Helps Fund Construction of Louisiana Special-Needs Housing

2018-06-29 12:00:00

BOYCE, La.--()--Six new group homes for developmentally disabled adults with severe or profound intellectual abilities will be built thanks to a $450,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Red River Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).

The grant was awarded to St. Mary’s Residential Training School (St. Mary’s) during a check presentation and ground breaking yesterday with representatives from the organization and both banks in attendance.

“The community is happy to support this project because we are providing stable housing in a safe environment for disabled individuals,” said Director of Development Tamara McNulty. “Our goal is to help these residents reach their highest form of independence and potential.”

Christi Guillot, St. Mary’s administrator, is excited about this highly anticipated project. “With 40 people living in a dorm, it can be quite chaotic,” said Ms. Guillot. “It’s not a place that really feels like home and we believe that our residents deserve better.”

Each group home will contain eight individual living areas in addition to a laundry facility, community room, kitchen and handicap-accessible bathrooms. The $9.5 million project will eliminate dormitories on St. Mary’s campus and transition more than 120 residents from a congregant living environment to a true home of their own.

“We are happy to provide this housing for some of Louisiana’s most vulnerable residents,” said Ms. McNulty. “There is one resident who came into our office every single day and asked when construction for the group home will begin. When the ground breaking was given a concrete date, he had the biggest smile on his face. This particular resident, along with the other disabled individuals in the dormitories, cannot wait to have their own personal space.”

Vice President of Community Relations and CRA Officer at Red River Bank, Jannease Seastrunk, said there are many benefits to the AHP.

“The Affordable Housing Program is not just a valuable community investment tool, but also a conduit through which we can provide value to our customers and make a positive impact on the community,” said Ms. Seastrunk.

AHP grants, awarded annually by FHLB Dallas, assist members in the creation or rehabilitation of affordable, owner-occupied rental and temporary housing for very low- to moderate-income households in FHLB Dallas’ five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. In 2017, FHLB Dallas awarded $7 million in AHP grants to 19 projects that will result in 1,108 new or renovated housing units. Of that, $1.7 million was awarded to Louisiana projects, and will result in 113 new or rehabbed housing units. Visit fhlb.com for more information on the 2017 AHP awards.

“The AHP is a powerful community investment tool because it benefits the community in various ways. We’ve partnered with Red River Bank on a number of projects over the years, and they have demonstrated a continuous commitment to supporting affordable housing options in the communities they serve,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas.

About Red River Bank

Red River Bank is a full-service community bank headquartered in Alexandria, Louisiana. Red River Bank was chartered in 1998 in Rapides Parish and began operating its first banking center in Alexandria in 1999. Red River Bank offers consumer and commercial banking services and products, mortgage lending services, and investment services.

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 $68.5 billion as of March 31, 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.