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Grant Helped Arkansas Mother Purchase First Home
[May 18, 2017]

Grant Helped Arkansas Mother Purchase First Home

After renting an apartment for two years, Morgan Drayton decided that she wanted a home of her own. The 23-year-old mother of two wanted to save money for a down payment on a home of her own so she moved into her parents' house.

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A $7,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership grant from FHLB Dallas and Centennial Bank helped an ...

A $7,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership grant from FHLB Dallas and Centennial Bank helped an Arkansas mother purchase her first home. (Photo: Business Wire)

After learning about the Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) grant program from a Centennial Bank loan officer, Ms. Drayton was awarded $7,000 for a down payment from Centennial Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).

HELP grants are offered by FHLB Dallas through its member financial institutions, like Centennial Bank, to assist income-qualified, first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs on newly constructed or existing homes. The $7,000 grant gave Ms. Drayton the necessary capital for a down payment on her new three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

Ms. Drayton says her new home gives her the space needed for her 5-year-old son, infant daughter and dog.

"I love my new home because it is mine," she said. "Also, I didn't want to be a renter because rent payments were higher than my mortgage payment. I also wanted to build equity which is impossible as a renter."

Centennial Bank CRA Offcer Tonya Weaver said HELP grants are a great way to get first-time homebuyers across the finish line.

"HELP recipients work hard to get to where they are," she said. "The grant gives them that extra boost they need to realize their dream of homeownership."

Since the program's inception in 2002, HELP grants totaling more than $17.2 million have assisted more than 3,300 families. FHLB Dallas made available $1 million in HELP funding in 2016 on a first-come, first-served basis and has made $1 million available again in 2017. Visit to view current availability of HELP funds.

"HELP is a powerful community investment tool because the program assists first-time homebuyers who are willing to make a long-term commitment to their communities across our District," said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. "We are proud to offer this program through our members."

Ms. Drayton said the experience of purchasing and owning a home has changed her life for the better.

"Being a homeowner is a whole new experience. There are more responsibilities such as maintenance and repairs, but it is well worth it," she said.

About Home BancShares, Inc.

Home BancShares, Inc. is a bank holding company, headquartered in Conway, Arkansas. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Centennial Bank, provides a broad range of commercial and retail banking plus related financial services to businesses, real estate developers, investors, individuals and municipalities. Centennial Bank has branch locations in Arkansas, Florida, South Alabama and New York City. The Company's common stock is traded through the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "HOMB." For more information, please visit or

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 $57.5 billion as of March 31, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment 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

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