23 Homes Improved by Grant Program Over Two Years

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23 Homes Improved by Grant Program Over Two Years

FHLB Dallas, Rebuilding Together Houston and Green Bank work together to keep seniors in their homes

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HOUSTON, March 22--For 63-year-old Evelyn Ruiz, arthritis in her knees has made it hard for her to get in and out of the tub. Many years ago when she moved into her Sunnyside home with her husband, she never dreamed that stepping in and out of regular bathtub would be so difficult. With the grant program from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Rebuilding Together-Houston (RT-Houston) and Green Bank this grateful homeowner was able to receive a walk-in shower, elevated toilet and grab bars. She is so thankful; now it is much easier and safer to take a shower.

Twenty-two other Houston seniors have similar stories of help: roof leaks repaired, windows replaced, plumbing patched, access ramps added, dangerous floors fixed and electrical systems made safe through FHLB Dallas’ Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) Grants.

Over the last two years, Green Bank and the FHLB Dallas collaborated to award RT-Houston more than $102,000 to assist 23 low-income elderly and special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs.

“RT-H and the FHLB-D have been great partners to work with to help procure and provide critical home repairs to some of Houston’s most in need elderly and low income homeowners” said David Matthews, Green Bank’s community reinvestment officer and RT-Houston board member. “Green Bank is proud to roll up our sleeves and work to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods.”

The repairs don't cost the homeowners, thanks to the SNAP grants that are made available through FHLB Dallas’ member financial institutions to assist income-qualified, special needs homeowners with necessary home repairs and modifications. $2.35 million total has been awarded over the last two years to FHLB-Dallas’ district of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. The grants have a maximum value of $5,000 per home.

The program includes foundation, flooring, sheetrock, plumbing, electrical, and roof replacement and repair, along with handicap accessibility modifications such as converting bathtubs into showers, widening doorways, lowering countertops and constructing ramp ways.

“To many homeowners, $5,000 does not sound like much for repairs,” said RT-Houston Executive Director James Soller. “But this amount, plus RT-Houston’s more than 30 years of experience working throughout Houston and our tremendous volunteer base provides our homeowners the self-sufficiency and safety to remain in their homes.”