Legal Services of North Florida Announces Award through FHLBank Atlanta Heirs’ Property Prevention and Resolution Grant Initiative
Tallahassee, FL – Legal Services of North Florida (LSNF) announces that they have been awarded invaluable funds from Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta), one of the 11 district banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
The award is through the FHLBank Atlanta Heirs’ Property Prevention and Resolution Grant Initiative, announced last August. Funding through this initiative was made available to organizations that submitted pilot initiatives during the Heirs’ Property Prevention and Resolution Funders’ Forum, held on December 2, 2021.
FHLBank Atlanta has made a commitment to helping families hold on to their homes and their equity through this initiative. “We are grateful for this commitment and to be selected as a recipient of this grant. We will help families in the Florida Panhandle get title to their heirs’ property so that they can have stable, affordable housing for years to come. The peace of mind they achieve is priceless, and the wealth retained is a building block for their children.,” said Leslie Powell Boudreaux, Legal Services of North Florida Executive Director.
Kirk Malmberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of FHLBank Atlanta, congratulated Legal Services of North Florida on being selected for an award. “We are pleased to offer this award and we commend Legal Services of North Florida for working to solve and prevent issues associated with heirs’ property,” said Malmberg.
Arthur Fleming, FHLBank Atlanta’s Senior Vice President and Director of Community Investment Services, joined in congratulating Legal Services of North Florida and noted that aside from resolving heirs’ property issues, the goal of the initiative is to raise awareness among state and local governments, developers, and other organizations. “The funding we are providing to Legal Services of North Florida will not only help provide tangible relief to families and communities impacted by heirs’ property, it will also help bring more attention to this issue and hopefully spur additional involvement from other key stakeholders that have a vested interest in resolving and preventing heirs’ property,” said Fleming.
Heirs’ property occurs when a real property owner dies without a will that designates a successor owner, or without a recorded deed. It also occurs when property is left to multiple beneficiaries, resulting in a fractured or tangled title that is unmarketable and, if left unresolved, prevents the ability to sell, collateralize, improve, or otherwise transfer the property. Heirs’ property is a barrier to the accumulation of generational wealth, leads to neighborhood blight, and is a pervasive issue that disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic minority, low-wealth, and distressed urban and rural communities.
Legal Services of North Florida expects to use the award to help North Florida residents, especially those in rural areas, secure ownership of their home or land that has been in their family or given to them. Many individuals do not realize they do not have clear ownership or that the lack of clear ownership dramatically decreases their access to resources. Attorneys will aim to educate residents and to provide counsel to help Floridians claim their homes and secure a pathway of ownership for their family.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta
FHLBank Atlanta offers competitively-priced financing, community development grants, and other banking services to help member financial institutions make affordable home mortgages and provide economic development credit to neighborhoods and communities. The Bank’s member are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, community development financial institutions, and insurance companies located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. FHLBank Atlanta is one of 11 district banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Since 1990, the FHLBanks have awarded approximately $7.3 billion in Affordable Housing Program funds, assisting more than one million households.
Legal Services of North Florida
Legal Services of North Florida (LSNF) is one of seven legal services organizations in Florida funded by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC is a private, not-for-profit Corporation created by an Act of Congress to ensure low-income people have equal access to the courts nationwide. LSNF receives financial assistance primarily from the following sources: Legal Services Corporation, The Florida Bar Foundation, Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, the Area Agency on Aging, United Way, the Attorney General, local governments and private contributions. For more information about LSNF, visit lsnf.org.