Construction Project Manager Buys First Home with Help of Grant


$7K from FHLB Dallas and Whitney Bank Provide Down Payment Assistance

Groundbreaking Event to Celebrate Reconstruction of Corpus Christi Apartment CommunityHUMBLE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wendy Mendez has a message for her former graduate school classmates: “Never give up.”

A $7K grant from Whitney Bank and @FHLBDallas helped Houston-area resident buy her first home.

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The 31-year-old recently graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree and moved to the Houston area in 2015 from New York to pursue a career as a project manager for a construction company. With a full-time job and a one-bedroom apartment, Ms. Mendez was short on time, space, and resources. Mired in student loans, she never thought she’d be able to save enough money for a down payment on a home.

“As a full-time grad student, it was really hard to save money,” said Ms. Mendez. “I always wanted a home to call my own, but didn’t think it was possible until I paid off all my student loans.”

Then Ms. Mendez learned of a solution at a community workshop that gave her hope.

A $7,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant from Whitney Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) gave Ms. Mendez the necessary capital for a down payment on her new three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

HELP grants are offered by FHLB Dallas through its member financial institutions, like Whitney Bank, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on newly constructed or existing homes.

“Many HELP grant recipients work so hard to get to where they are,” said Whitney Bank Officer and Community Loan Originator Veronica Martinez. “Whitney Bank is proud to offer this program, which helps get people like Ms. Mendez across the finish line.”

In 2015, FHLB Dallas awarded $1 million in HELP grants to assist 199 families. The $1 million in 2016 HELP funding, made available in January on a first-come, first-served basis, has been exhausted. Since the program’s inception in 2002, HELP grants totaling more than $16.2 million have assisted more than 3,100 families.

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said HELP is a powerful community investment tool because the program helps create long-term residents of communities across FHLB Dallas’ five-state District.

“The HELP grant program allows our members to provide would-be homeowners the head start they need to realize their dreams of homeownership,” he said.

Ms. Mendez said that she is happy to have the additional space, and feels a sense of accomplishment after achieving and sacrificing so much in the last few years.

“This is something I’ve worked toward for a long time,” she said. “I want other people to see my accomplishments and know that it’s possible to be a full-time student, have a full-time job, and own your own home.”

About Whitney Bank

Since the late 1800s, the Whitney Bank name has embodied core values of Honor & Integrity, Strength & Stability, Commitment to Service, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility. Part of Hancock Holding Company’s Gulf South financial services family, Whitney Bank locations in Louisiana and Texas and Hancock Bank locations in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida offer comprehensive financial choices, including traditional and online banking; commercial and small business banking; private banking; trust and investment services; certain insurance services; and mortgage services. More information and online banking are available at hancockwhitney.com.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $54.4 billion as of June 30, 2016, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.


Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
Corporate Communications, 214-441-8445

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