Southern Mutual Help Association Receives $140,000 Affordable Housing Grant

DALLAS, Feb. 27, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (Bank) awarded a $140,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant on behalf of IBERIABANK to the Southern Mutual Help Association in New Iberia, Louisiana. The grant will assist 20 low-income families attain housing throughout rural Louisiana communities.

The Southern Mutual Help Association is a nonprofit, comprehensive rural development corporation that has assisted in building rural communities in Louisiana for more than 40 years. The AHP grant will support the Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership 2008, a project of the Southern Mutual Help Association that will create and renovate homes for 20 low-income, single-family households in rural Louisiana. The funds can be used for down payment and closing cost assistance, acquisitions, and counseling for families in Acadia, Avoyelles, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Mary, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Bernard, Jefferson, Vermilion, Jefferson Davis, Plaquemines, Terrebonne and Washington parishes.

Lorna Bourg, President and Executive Director of Southern Mutual Help Association, said because of the increasing labor and insurance costs, local families are struggling to obtain and maintain ownership of their homes.

“Homeownership is more difficult than ever before due to the increasing building costs, new codes for hurricane protection, and rising insurance premiums,” said Bourg. “The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is doing something very critical for rural Louisiana’s recovery from the recent hurricanes. The grant will help provide closings costs and principal reduction dollars for hardworking families who want to become homeowners.”

The Bank allocates 10 percent of its earnings each year to the Affordable Housing Program (AHP), and the grants are used for rehabilitation and construction of housing for income-qualified families. In 2008, the Bank, through its member financial institutions, awarded $17.5 million in grants to assist 2,913 households. Louisiana received $1.8 million in AHP grants to create or renovate 242 housing projects in 2008.

IBERIABANK, a Louisiana-headquartered bank, is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and qualified to distribute AHP grants to its clients. IBERIABANK has worked closely with the Southern Mutual Help Association since the 1970s to successfully place low-income families into affordable homes. IBERIABANK has used the Bank’s Affordable Housing Program since its inception in 1990, and continues to apply for grants to educate and support new local homebuyers.

Carrie Curet, Vice President and Community Officer of IBERIABANK, said her bank is using AHP funds more than ever before. “We are a growing bank, and strictly maintain our focus to support community development,” said Curet. “We have seen the tremendous impact that the AHP program has had on individual families and their ability to purchase, repair or replace properties that otherwise, they may not be able to achieve. Our partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank and Southern Mutual Help Association has touched a number of South Louisiana families over the years and we are grateful that we can offer 20 additional families the opportunity this year.”

The Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership 2008 project began December 31, 2008, and will conclude approximately a year later. The grant is meant to assist rural homebuyers who would otherwise not have the opportunity for homeownership.

About Southern Mutual Help Association

Southern Mutual Help Association (SMHA) was founded in 1969 with a mission to pioneer new approaches to the seemingly intractable challenges facing communities in rural Louisiana. SMHA finds strategic solutions that institutionalize change and help build communities through the people’s growth in their own empowerment and the management of resources. SMHA has founded and co-founded at least 15 institutions with far-reaching implications for rural community development, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, health and education, innovative investments in low-income markets, and the development of the non-profit sector.


IBERIABANK is the 121-year-old subsidiary of IBERIABANK Corporation, the second largest bank holding company headquartered in Louisiana. Operating 48 branches throughout Louisiana, IBERIABANK covers 14 parishes including Lafayette, Acadia, Vermilion, Iberia, Ouachita, Lincoln, Morehouse, Jefferson, Orleans, East Baton Rouge, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, St. John the Baptist and Caddo.

About 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. The Bank, with total assets of $78.9 billion as of December 31, 2008, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans 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 Bank’s web site at

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas logo is available at

(888) 688-9880