Richland Hills

Richland Hills Veteran Awarded $10,000 for Home Repairs

"This grant was unexpected, and it saved us."


Army National Guard veteran David Balderas of Richland Hills is reminded daily of his time in the military.

The 34-year-old gradually became disabled while serving in Iraq between 2016 and 2018. Mr. Balderas was an aircraft mechanic who troubleshot and repaired helicopter engines until he was physically unable to.

While in the military, Mr. Balderas’ duties included climbing up and down helicopters until ligament damage to his shoulders and knees, coupled with back pain, made that impossible. He now occasionally uses a cane to walk. Mr. Balderas currently lives with his wife and three children – a 7-year-old and two 1-year-olds – in a home built during the 1950s with significant foundation issues.

But now, the veteran is getting some much-needed help on making their home safer for his family.

Balderas was recently awarded a check for $10,000 from the First National Bank of Texas and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.

“This grant was unexpected, and it saved us. The foundation was in really bad condition, and we lost thousands of dollars in the process of trying to repair it. I don’t know where we would be without this assistance,” said Mr. Balderas.

The funds come from a Housing Assistance for Veterans (HAVEN) grant, which Balderas will use to make significant repairs to the foundation of his home.

HAVEN funds assist with necessary modifications to homes of U.S. veterans and active duty, reserve, or National Guard service members who became disabled as a result of their military service since September 11, 2001. Funds can also be awarded to Gold Star Families that were impacted during this time frame for home repairs/rehabilitation. HAVEN also allows the use of the funds for the down payment and closing cost assistance.

In 2022, FNBT and FHLB Dallas awarded $50,000 to five HAVEN recipients in Texas. April Niswonger, assistant vice president at FNBT, said helping veterans is among their community initiatives.

“FNBT is appreciative of the HAVEN program because we understand the challenges our military personnel face when transitioning back to civilian life, and we want to do everything we can to support them,” she said.

Greg Hettrick, senior vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said FNBT’s partnership with FHLB Dallas and the veteran community is a true testament to their civic investment.

“FNBT consistently uses HAVEN and looks for unique ways to support their communities,” he said.

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