Photo Release -- HELP Grant Allows Shreveport Homebuyer to Achieve Homeownership Milestone

SHREVEPORT, La., June 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dequina Henderson set a goal for herself to buy a home before she turned 30. Thanks to a down payment assistance program made available by Red River Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), she met her goal with a few months to spare.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

Ms. Henderson, a working mother of two boys, moved into her North Shreveport home in April. The home has plenty of space for her 8- and 12-year-old boys. She learned about the Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) program, offered by FHLB Dallas through member institutions such as Red River Bank, at a homebuyer education class. Through HELP, income-qualified, first-time homebuyers can receive up to $7,000 in grant funds to assist with down payments and closing costs.

"I had a goal that I wanted to buy a home before I reached 30. I decided to just fix my credit and go for it," said Ms. Henderson, who works as a WIC clerk at a medical clinic. She spent a year improving her credit score and saving money before she was ready to purchase a home. It took about four months to find the perfect home in the neighborhood she wanted. The home she found "was up to date and move-in ready," she said.

Ms. Henderson received a $7,000 HELP grant to assist with her down payment and closing costs, significantly reducing her out-of-pocket move-in costs.

"Oh my God. I am so grateful for the grant," Ms. Henderson said. "I did save, but when it was time to close I didn't have to put up as much money as I thought, so that freed up money for home furnishings."

Red River Bank has utilized $49,000 in HELP grants in 2014 to assist seven families with down payments and/or closing costs.

"Red River Bank has been using the HELP program for a number of years to help first-time buyers with their home purchases," said Judy Madison, assistant vice president for Red River Bank. "Buying a home can be a scary thing, and this is a great program that helps ease some of that fear by taking care of a portion of the out-of-pocket expenses."

Since its inception, FHLB Dallas has awarded nearly $14.3 million in HELP grants. For 2014, FHLB Dallas has made available $1 million in HELP funds through its members.

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.

Dequina Henderson


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