April 2019
AHFA Board of Directors to Meet in May
The AHFA Board of Directors will meet Thursday, May 30 at 11 a.m. in the AHFA offices.
Success Story: Yvonne Swanson, Tuscaloosa
Yvonne Swanson moved back to her hometown of Tuscaloosa in May 2013 after retiring. She rented a house near a neighborhood of homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa. 

"Prior to becoming a Habitat homeowner, Yvonne lived just down the street from her new three-bedroom, two-bath Habitat home," said Habitat Tuscaloosa Executive Director Ellen Potts. "Her old, two-bedroom rental house was poorly sealed, and vermin could get inside. Her rent was nearly double what her Habitat mortgage payment is, and as she moved out, the landlord was about to increase the rent again."

Swanson had never heard of Habitat for Humanity, and she was intrigued by the houses she saw being constructed in the neighborhood, so she applied for a home of her own.

Built in 2017, Swanson's Habitat home was sponsored through a partnership with the Southwest District of the United Methodist Church’s North Alabama Conference. United Methodists joined together with people from other churches and faith-based organizations, the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors, local businesses, and volunteers from all over the country to construct the house. Potts said, "She volunteered on the job site every day, and even on the days she had to work, would come by before and after work, and often on her lunch break to thank the volunteers. Yvonne Swanson is an absolute joy!"

Working with Habitat for Humanity, AHFA purchases mortgage loans from the local affiliates. This process allows the affiliates to receive the loan amount up front in a lump sum while AHFA receives the monthly payments for the life of the loan. The affiliate then uses the up-front funds to build more housing for low-income families. "Now, because of our partnership with AHFA to purchase Yvonne’s loan, there are new Habitat homes under construction on Juanita Drive," said Potts.

Hear Swanson share her thoughts on becoming a Habitat homeowner:
Application Deadline for 2017 HTF Funding
AHFA is accepting applications for National Housing Trust Fund projects. The application deadline for available 2017 HTF funding is  Monday, June 3rd .

The AHFA HTF Plans and Application Materials are available at  www.AHFA.com.

Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to mf.applications@ahfa.com .
Congratulations to AHFA's Quarterly Leading Lenders!
AHFA recently announced the top five loan officers who closed the most loans using AHFA homeownership programs for the second quarter of FY19:

Congratulations to these lenders! We appreciate them utilizing our programs to make buying a home more affordable for Alabamians.
Fiscal Year 2019, Through Second Quarter
Multifamily Division:
  • 18 affordable housing developments in the pre-construction phase
  • 24 developments under construction
  • 18 developments pending 8609s (IRS form to obtain housing credit allocation from AHFA)
  • Compliance audits have been completed on 115 of 395 developments

Single-Family Division:
  • $56.4 million in affordable mortgage financing to 475 Alabama families

  • 56,744 loans being serviced, totaling $7.93 billion

Hardest Hit Alabama:
  • 376 homeowners have been approved for $11.28 million in foreclosure prevention assistance ($5.6 million of which has already been disbursed)
Student Spotlight: Alexus Tolbert, Selma
In 2000, the Alabama Affordable Housing Association (AAHA) created an education scholarship program for residents of member-owned apartment properties in Alabama. The scholarship funds are donated by the owners, contractors, architects, accountants, property management companies, investors, lenders, developers, and various vendors that make up AAHA’s membership as well as other non-member individuals. Since its inception, the AAHA resident scholarship fund has awarded more than $500,000 in college and vocational scholarships. 

Meet Alexus Tolbert of Selma:
Class of 2018 student Alexus Tolbert relocated from a crime-ridden neighborhood to safe, decent, and affordable housing in Selma's Addison Way Apartments after she was shot three times.

“You are looking at a miracle. I was shot in my head, hands and chest,” said Tolbert. Bullets from a drive-by shooting in her neighborhood pierced the walls of her home and wounded Tolbert as she slept. “In the community I lived in before Addison Way, hearing gunshots was a common thing,” she said. “My mom ran into my room to tell me to get on the floor, but it was too late. I had been shot in my sleep."

Tolbert spent two weeks in intensive care and endured multiple surgeries before she was released from the hospital. She said, “When I got out of the hospital, we lived with relatives for three months because we were afraid to go back to our old home.” Thankfully, Tolbert, her mother, and her grandmother were able to move into a vacant unit at Addison Way, where Tolbert’s mother Valerie Wagner is the manager.

“This horrific experience was one of the hardest moments of my life, but God has continued to bless me," she said. "This experience has also taught me patience and to always have faith in God.”

Tolbert was eventually able to resume her junior year at Southside High School and finished with an A average. She even attended prom two months after her release from the hospital.

Tolbert says that her injuries and recovery made her feel powerless and worthless. Anyone who meets her can see that she is far from either of those. A dual enrollment student, Tolbert earned college credit at Wallace Community College while still in high school. When she completes her associate’s degree from Wallace, she plans to transfer to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to pursue a double major in biology and health sciences that will help her prepare for medical school.

“In the hospital, I had a neurologist,” she said. “If it wasn’t for him, I would probably be dead. That situation made me want to become a neurologist.”

The $1,500 AAHA resident scholarship will do much to help her achieve her goals. “My mom is a single parent,” said Tolbert. “I know she couldn’t put me through college on her own. Even with the help of my grandmother, they couldn’t put me through college on their own. So, this scholarship means a lot. We are thankful and grateful.”

For more information about the resident scholarship program, please contact Arrice Faught, AAHA’s executive director, at arrice@theaaha.org or 205.758.1158. 
USA Mortgage Joins AHFA as a Participating Lender

AHFA is pleased to welcome USA Mortgage as a participating lender in the Step Up program.

USA Mortgage has offices in Birmingham, Foley, and Orange Beach to serve potential homebuyers. For more information, visit  https://www.usa-mortgage.com/ .
8 Helpful Tips for HOME Loan Closings
AHFA's Multifamily Division has compiled a list of tips to navigate the HOME loan closing process:

  • The person designated in the Project Application as the Project Contact is the single point of contact to whom all closing correspondence will be directed. Any changes to this contact are the responsibility of the Responsible Owner.
  • Submit the Certificate of Occupancy to us upon receipt. This document is critical in closing preparations and is the first document that should be submitted to AHFA.
  • A Closing Checklist and AHFA Closing Document Template will be made available to the Project Contact. Collect and prepare the required documents prior to closing as soon as they become available. These documents should be submitted to us (in hard copy and digital format) together, at one time. All documentation must be received before a tentative closing date is discussed.
  • Make note of the HOME Closing Deadline in the HOME Written Agreement. The closing deadline is an important date which should be met. If unforeseen delays in construction occur, an extension request (detailing delays and additional time requested) should be submitted to us as soon as possible. Not all extension requests may be granted as hard deadlines are tied to HOME funding which, if not met, can result in the loss of funding.
  • Execute signatures on AHFA Certifications just prior to sending the document package to AHFA. All certifications must be original and should be dated as close to the closing as possible.
  • A final Rent Roll (in AHFA format) must be brought to closing. It will be certified at closing.
  • Only AHFA staff may notarize AHFA documents.
  • Disbursement of HOME funds will occur only after our legal counsel receives confirmation that the closing documents have been recorded. 
Education & Outreach in April
April 16: Onsite lender training with First Federal, Gadsden
April 23: Lender visit at loanDepot, Huntsville
April 24: Lender visit at First Federal, Huntsville
April 24: Lender visit at First Bank, Huntsville
April 25: Training at Montgomery Area Association of Realtors
April 30: Exhibit at Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama annual convention
AHFA Offices to Close for May Holiday
The AHFA, ServiSolutions, and Hardest Hit Alabama offices will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website