Arvest Bank and FHLB Dallas Provided Affordable Housing Program Funds
Strategic Community Investments of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was recently awarded a $440,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Arvest Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). The grant will help fund the construction of Electric Park, a 56-unit apartment and four-plex community for low- to very low-income, special-needs, elderly and homeless individuals.
Strategic Community Investments is the nonprofit development company for the project and sister organization of Fort Smith Housing Authority (FSHA). Its mission is to advance affordable housing through community and economic development projects such as Electric Park.
FSHA Executive Director Mitchell Minnick said the AHP grant was the boost the project needed to get off the ground.
"The AHP funds are going to be very impactful to the project," said Mr. Minnick. "We previously applied for a federal low-income housing tax credit last year to get started. However, we were unsuccessful. Now that we have these committed funds, Strategic Community Investments can apply through the Arkansas state agency for the tax credits."
The construction of Electric Park is expected to begin in November 2020 and be completed by late 2021.
Electric Park will be a mixed-income rental development containing single unit apartment and four-plex buildings. The complex will include 12 units earmarked for market rate tenants. The remainder of the development will be reserved for lower income, special-needs and homeless tenants.
Virgil Miller, group CRA director of Arvest Bank Operations, said the program gives the bank an opportunity to create an impact at the micro-level of the community it serves.
"We are happy to be part of this project to help revitalize the Fort Smith community and cultivate Strategic Community Investments’ mission," said Mr. Miller. "Providing safe, decent and affordable housing could not be accomplished without our partnership with FHLB Dallas."
FHLB Dallas awards AHP grants annually through members like Arvest Bank to support the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing units, among other uses. In 2019, FHLB Dallas awarded $17 million in AHP grants to 35 projects that will result in 2,122 new or renovated housing units. Of that, $2 million was awarded to Arkansas projects, and will result in 231 new or rehabilitated housing units.
"FHLB Dallas is proud to work with member institutions such as Arvest Bank to provide various programs like AHP and enhance their relationship with customers and the community," said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas.
Mr. Minnick said the AHP grant will make a great difference to the Fort Smith community.
"When outside institutions such as Arvest Bank and FHLB Dallas have the willingness and ability to invest in a local community, our citizens know that our organization is on the right track and doing everything we can for the people of Fort Smith to provide safe, decent and affordable housing," said Mr. Minnick.
For more information about the AHP, visit fhlb.com/ahp.
About Arvest Bank
Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of the "World’s Best Banks" for 2019, operates more than 260 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 14 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 135 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.
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 $73.8 billion as of September 30, 2019, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 815 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas