ABERDEEN, Miss. – While the retirement years are supposed to be enjoyable, they can also be a financial struggle for those trying to make ends meet on a fixed income.
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Ora Ward, 72, said she has lived with that day-to-day struggle with an income that doesn’t reach far enough to pay for expensive yet critical home repairs.
“My bathroom was a major problem; it was rotted out,” Ms. Ward said. “It had just worn out.” Mold and mildew had built up over the years, causing the walls and flooring to decay and making the bathroom nearly unusable, she said. In addition, a shifting foundation made it difficult to close her front door.
A $5,000 Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) grant allowed Ms. Ward to get her home repaired. She heard about the grant program through word of mouth and inquired about it at Community Bank.
The grant funded a new front door and bathroom renovations. Her bathroom had to be rebuilt from the studs with new walls, flooring, and a shower.
SNAP grants are awarded by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) through participating member institutions, such as Community Bank, to provide necessary home repairs and modifications for income-qualified, special-needs, and elderly homeowners. The program was implemented by FHLB Dallas in 2009, and since that time more than $6.3 million in SNAP grants have been awarded throughout FHLB Dallas’ five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
“Many of our retired residents, like Ms. Ward, are on fixed incomes and unable to afford expensive but critical home repairs that affect their safety, such as a front door that won’t close properly,” said Ann Tackett, executive director of Tenn Tom Moving Youth.
Ms. Tackett, a retired teacher, saw a need for the SNAP grants in her community and approached Community Bank Vice Chairman Jeff King. Mr. King agreed to process the grant funds through Community Bank.
“Serving the needs of the community is what our organization is all about,” Ms. Tackett said. “We are pleased to be able to partner with FHLB Dallas and Community Bank to improve the living conditions of our residents here in Aberdeen with SNAP grant funds.”
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 $32.7 billion as of June 30, 2013, 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 fhlb.com.