Larry Harrison’s Tyler home was built in 1935, and has been passed down through his family. After falling into disarray, nonprofit Habitat for Humanity has replaced and repaired Harrison’s doors, windows, electrical, and ceiling, and plans to build him a new ramp for his porch.

Southside Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas have awarded a $300,000 Affordable Housing Program subsidy to Habitat for Humanity of Smith County for critical home repairs for rural residents.

“Our program, which we call Rural ReHabitat, provides critical home repairs to low- and very low-income homeowners living in rural areas of East Texas to improve their quality of life,” said Jack Wilson, CEO of HFHSC.

The program serves Anderson, Cherokee, Henderson, Rusk, Smith, Van Zandt and Wood counties.

Brooke Mott, fair and responsible banking officer at Southside Bank, said more than 20% of the rural residents in those seven counties are over the age of 65.

“These residents are often on fixed incomes that are stretched thin, and this funding will enable Habitat to address critical repairs so they may remain independent and safe in their homes,” she said.

The $300,000 AHP subsidy will be combined with $165,000 in other funding to provide $465,000 worth of repairs to 30 homes over a three-year period.

AHP funds are intended to assist FHLB Dallas members in financing the purchase, construction and/or rehabilitation of owner-occupied, rental or transitional housing, as well as housing for homeless individuals. Funds must be used to benefit households with incomes at or below 80% of the median income for the area.

For 2020, FHLB Dallas awarded $19.3 million in AHP subsidies to 38 projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. The subsidies will result in the creation or rehabilitation of 2,749 housing units. Included in that total, are $10.2 million in grants for 1,475 units of housing Texas. Since the AHP’s inception in 1990, FHLB Dallas has awarded more than $324 million in AHP and AHP set-aside programs and has assisted more than 56,500 households.

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of community investment at FHLB Dallas, said Southside Bank is making a major impact in East Texas with the AHP subsidy.

“These funds will go a long way toward critical home repairs in rural areas that sometimes don’t get enough attention, and we are pleased to join Southside Bank in that effort,” he said.

For more information about the AHP, visit fhlb.com/ahp.

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Digital Multimedia Journalist

Ben Fenton is a digital multimedia journalist that has worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph since 2019. He is from Lindale, Texas and holds a Bachelors in Digital Media and a Masters in Communication.