SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA – March 8, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — At 27 years old, Jo Monica Gaines is actually the one setting the example for her family. The dental assistant and single mother of two, recently purchased a home, and she has inspired her mother to do the same.
Ms. Gaines was able to benefit from a Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant through Red River Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). HELP grants assist first-time, income-qualified homebuyers with down payment and closing costs.
“I was looking to buy a home and my realtor said she could get me some help on the closing costs. She gave me the number to Judy Madison at Red River Bank,” Ms. Gaines said. “The HELP grant paid almost all of my closing costs.”
Ms. Madison, assistant vice president of community outreach at Red River Bank, has worked with the FHLB Dallas HELP program for several years. In 2012, Red River Bank utilized $40,000 in HELP funds to help eight families purchase homes.
“At Red River Bank, we pride ourselves on community involvement, and the HELP program is just one more tool that enables us to assist families and individuals in our communities in obtaining the dream of homeownership,” said Ms. Madison. “So many people want to buy a home and invest in something they actually own rather than throwing money away on rent, but they think that because they don’t make a lot of money, or because they are young, that homeownership is not attainable. Ms. Gaines shows other single mothers and other young people that it is possible.”
Ms. Gaines and her two children – a 4-year-old and 5-month-old, moved into their new home in March 2012. Ms. Gaines’s reasons for buying a home were simple. “I figured I was wasting money renting when I could be paying the same amount and end up owning the property in a few years. My mom thought that I was being smart. She’s actually now looking to do the same thing. I gave her Judy’s number two days ago and she wants to see if she can use the same program.”
Ms. Gaines has become quite the promoter for the HELP program.
“I love my home, and just the fact that I can say I own something. I tell everybody who wants to own a home about the program. I tell them to look into the first-time homebuyers’ course and take advantage of the HELP grant.”
HELP grants are available through FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as Red River Bank, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on a newly constructed or existing home. For 2013, FHLB Dallas made $1 million in HELP funds available to 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 $35.8 billion as of December 31, 2012, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to more than 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.
About Red River Bank
Red River Bank is an independent community bank headquartered in Central Louisiana with banking centers also located in Northwest Louisiana. The bank was founded in 1998 by a small group of bankers, community leaders, and business people who wanted to create a better way to bank.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas