Photo Release -- Construction to Begin on Housing for Disabled Northwest Arkansas Residents

HARRISON, Ark., May 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Officials from Boone County Special Services, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Northwest Arkansas Regional Housing Authority, and Community First Bank gathered Wednesday for the groundbreaking for Mt. View Estates, an apartment community for disabled residents in Harrison, Arkansas.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Boone County Special Services, a local nonprofit that provides support services to people with developmental disabilities, received a $48,628 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Community First Bank and FHLB Dallas to assist with the construction of Mt. View Estates. The apartments will consist of nine residential rental units and one manager's unit contained in three buildings, to be built on 8.1 acres of land along Maplewood Road. Boone County Special Services donated the land for the project. The project also received a $1.04 million grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. HUD will also provide funding to supplement residents' rent.

"The city of Harrison welcomes the investment in quality, low-income housing," said Mayor Jeff Crockett. "We are always seeking ways to raise the standards of housing. Everyone deserves dignity, safety, and security. The Mt. View Estates project promises to be a facility that fulfills these objectives. I appreciate this endeavor and offer my thanks!"

Mt. View Estates will include a community building for socialization, an office, and laundry facilities. The facility is located on the north side of Harrison on the city's trolley line and the staff will have use of a van to transport residents. Residents will also have access to a variety of support services onsite, such as training and educational offerings.

Connie Morton, a housing consultant advising Boone County Special Services on the project, said occupancy will be limited to low-income adults, at least 18 years old, with mental or physical disabilities. Each person will live in a 540-square-foot, one-bedroom unit.

The Northwest Arkansas Regional Housing Authority will manage the development.

"Our Board of Commissioners is proud to partner with HUD, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, and Community First Bank of Harrison to bring this unique housing opportunity to our service area," said Ken McDowell, executive director of Northwest Arkansas Regional Housing Authority. "There are no other properties like this one in the community. It allows developmentally disabled residents to live on their own – to live independently with supportive services that Boone County Special Services will provide at the property. Residents have their own apartments, but if they need a little extra help, Boone County Special Services can provide that help. Living independently benefits everyone."

The AHP grant allowed Boone County Special Services to move forward with the project, according to Ms. Morton.

"It saved them from having to come up with the money from their own pocket," she said. "They are a small nonprofit with a limited budget. The AHP grant helped the project become reality. There is a tremendous need for this in our community. The residents who will be helped are living on very limited incomes."

Community First Bank President Lewis Tate said the project provides housing to some of Harrison's most vulnerable residents.

"We are a locally owned community bank that believes strongly in giving back to the community we serve," said Mr. Tate. "The Mt. View Estates development will not only provide much-needed independent living units for our disabled citizens, but it will also provide the services to help residents remain independent in their homes. It is a win-win for everyone."

AHP grants are awarded through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions, such as Community First Bank, to assist in the development of affordable, owner-occupied and rental housing for very low- to moderate-income households. In 2013, FHLB Dallas awarded $11.3 million in AHP funding to 36 projects across its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. The funding will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 1,654 housing units across the District. In 2014, FHLB Dallas has made available another $11 million in funding. Recipients will be announced later this year.

"FHLB Dallas is thrilled to celebrate the groundbreaking of Mt. View Estates," said Greg Hettrick, vice president and director of community investment for FHLB Dallas. "Through members, such as Community First Bank, FHLB Dallas awarded more than $888,000 in AHP grants in 2013 to support the creation or renovation of 128 housing units in Arkansas. Mt. View Estates will fill a real need in this community and we are excited to assist in its development."

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $30.6 billion as of March 31, 2014, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

Mt. View Estates Groundbreaking

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