LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO – July 19, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) –Claribel Martinez said she wanted her family to grow up in a home of their own, one where they would build equity and put down roots.
A $4,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant helped the Martinez family buy a newly built Habitat for Humanity home. HELP grants are offered through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and its members, in this case Pioneer Bank. The grants assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on newly constructed or existing homes.
Claribel and Ramon Martinez and their four children, ages 12, 7, 5, and 3 moved into their new home in April, Mrs. Martinez said.
“It’s one of the better neighborhoods,” she said. “It’s very pretty and quiet.”
Marie Schwartz, development officer at Mesilla Valley Habitat for Humanity, said the family put in 514 hours of sweat equity to help build their four-bedroom, two-bath home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity volunteers.
“At the Martinez family’s home dedication, they were filled with joy,” Ms. Schwartz said. “The children all gathered in the bedrooms to play. The Martinez family was overjoyed and grateful for their new home.”
Before moving into the home, the family of six had lived in a cramped two-bedroom rented manufactured home with Ramon Martinez’s mother. They had to pull out mattresses each night and put them up in the morning so they could walk through the home. The manufactured home had no air conditioning and no furnace, so heating and cooling came from portable fans and heaters.
Mrs. Martinez said she felt like she was “wasting money because it wasn’t something we were going to own.”
Ms. Schwartz said HELP funds made homeownership for the family a reality.
“These funds help change people’s lives,” Ms. Schwartz said. “The health of the family tends to improve, children’s grades improve due to a more stable environment, and family members begin to feel empowered to improve other areas of their lives over which they previously felt no control.”
Dawson Dinsmore, vice president at Pioneer Bank, said HELP grants assist hard-working families achieve the American Dream.
“We all want a place to call home,” said Mr. Dinsmore. “On its most basic level, the HELP grant makes homeownership possible. But on a deeper level, it can alter lives for the good of families and the good of the entire community.”
Since 1990, more than $13.3 million in HELP grants have been awarded to assist more than 2,500 households. For 2013, FHLB Dallas made $1 million in HELP funds available through its members on a first-come, first-served basis.
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 $31 billion as of March 31, 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.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas