FHLB Volunteers with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Nashville

FHLB Cincinnati and three member institutions helped build a home for a Nashville family at Habitat for Humanity’s 36th Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, held October 6-11.

Employees were joined by local volunteers from member institutions FirstBank, F&M Bank and Pinnacle Financial Partners to build a home for a deserving family in a Nashville neighborhood. In total, 1,500 volunteers worked to build 21 homes alongside President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and country stars Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood.

"I have been fortunate enough to work on two other builds, but the large number of people working together and the magnitude of this year’s Carter Work Project made it unique," said Anna Moore, Trust Operations Specialist at Pinnacle Financial Partners. "It was amazing working with people from all over the world for this cause."

This marked the second Carter Work Project in the Fifth District in the last five years. 2019 also marked 30 years since the creation of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP), to support communities in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

"Our programs have shifted over the past 30 years, but FHLB Cincinnati and its Board maintain a strong dedication to supporting affordable housing throughout our district," said William "Sammy" Stuard Jr., President and CEO of F&M Bank and member of FHLB’s Board of Directors. "Each year, we put aside 10 percent of our earnings to support this initiative and F&M Bank is proud to partner with FHLB to change lives through the Affordable Housing Program."

The largest and most impactful initiative FHLB offers, AHP supplies grants of up to $1 million that can fund both ownership and rental programs.

"AHP is one of the most effective programs for providing finance for the development of affordable housing," said Damon Allen, FHLB’s Senior Vice President, Housing and Community Investment Officer. "This program and our dedication to affordable housing are part of our culture and our spirit."

Since the program’s inception, FHLB Cincinnati has awarded more than $749 million to fund over 93,000 affordable housing units, including three Carter Work Projects.

This year, FHLB Cincinnati and our members helped construct House 12 for Bizimana Vianney and Nyirarukundo Chantal, a Ugandan couple who left their home to escape war and intertribal conflict that put them in danger. Just over three years ago they relocated to Nashville and started a family, welcoming two daughters and a son.

Vianney and Chantal hope this new home will offer their children a safe place, a bed to sleep in and a chance to grow up as responsible citizens while learning from their parents’ example. Working alongside FHLB employees and member volunteers, the couple put in over 300 hours of sweat equity that allowed them to purchase their home through a zero-interest, 30-year mortgage.

The build focused on framing, trussing and eventually siding. By the time the week was over, House 12 had gone from a concrete slab to the beginnings of a place the Vianney family will call home.

"It was amazing to see the commitment and the sheer number of people working together to help impact these families. It was great to see Bizimana and Nyirarukundo’s appreciation for the Bank and everyone else involved," said Allen.