August 2018
Board of Directors Meeting Scheduled

The AHFA Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, September 26 at 11 a.m. in the offices of AHFA.
Student Spotlight:
Justin Thomas, The Palladian

In 2000, the Alabama Affordable Housing Association (AAHA) created a 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 scholarships.

Meet Justin Thomas of The Palladian Apartments in Mobile:

Justin Thomas is confident and self-assured with an easy smile; a driven young man who expects to go far in life. An AAHA resident scholarship of $1,500 is going to help him get there.

Thomas started his freshman year at Auburn University in Fall 2018. “I have zero scholarships to Auburn, but it’s my dream school,” he said. “So, $1,500 is a help. It will pay for books and part of my room. It’s going to help a lot.”

He plans to major in kinesiology—a broad field of study that should provide plenty of career options. With work experience from a children’s entertainment venue and volunteer experience with the Rodney Hudson Foundation and local pet adoption charities, he’s well on his way toward building a resume for a job as a camp director or activities coordinator.

“What I want to do with my career is own a boys and girls club,” said Thomas. “I was a member of a boys and girls club for three years. It really impacted me. I made a lot of friends.”

Thomas was encouraged to apply for the AAHA scholarship by his mother, Elaine Blackburn, manager of The Palladian. An only child, Thomas and Blackburn are very close.

“I’m nervous about being on my own,” said Thomas. “It’s always been me and my mom, and she’s always had my back through everything I’ve done. Being by myself, that’s going to be new and different, but I’m excited for the freedom.”

For more information about the resident scholarship program, please contact Arrice Faught, AAHA’s executive director at or 205.758.1158.     
AHFA & Fannie Mae Present at MBAA's August Seminar & Luncheon
AHFA, in conjunction with Fannie Mae, hosted a training event for lenders at the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama's seminar and luncheon August 21 in Birmingham.

Attendees learned about new and updated conventional loan products and down payment/closing cost assistance programs that are available for low- to moderate-income homebuyers as well as first-time homebuyers. In addition, lenders increased their knowledge on mortgage loan options and resources available to assist in the homebuying process.

Pictured at the event are AHFA Business Development Manager Cathy James and Fannie Mae Senior Business Manager Evett M. Francis.
For Multifamily Developers:
Tips for Working with Your Environmental Professional
AHFA has prepared a list of tips, available on , for working with your Environmental Professional (EP) in preparing the environmental assessment to be submitted with applications for AHFA-related projects. 

The tips are not meant to be exhaustive of all the items you should consider when working with your EP. Rather, they are meant to help applicants and their EPs avoid common mistakes. 

Although the tips are designed to be consistent with AHFA’s Environmental Policy Requirements and related policies and regulations, only the requirements set forth in AHFA’s current year allocation plans are controlling.

AHFA will be hosting or speaking at the following events in September:

Essent Publishes 2018 First-Time Homebuyer Study

A recent study by private mortgage insurer Essent finds that first-time homebuyers rely heavily on technology and digital tools for navigating the home-buying and mortgage process.

The study’s findings are based on an online survey Essent conducted earlier this year of 3,036 new and potential homeowners age 40 or younger. It addresses a variety of factors first-time purchasers consider, including the role of real estate agents, use of technology, the range of home options buyers are willing to consider, and their level of knowledge about home-buying requirements.

Essent concludes that first-time homebuyers communicate effectively with real estate agents through social media, and that they are more likely to work with companies offering online mortgage applications and procedures. In addition to online facilitation, first-time homebuyers also rely on their real estate agents for guidance throughout the entire home-buying process. The study recommends that real estate agents be prepared to develop both a business and personal relationship with young homebuyers.

The Essent study also shows that a significant percentage of first-time homebuyers are unaware of low down payment purchase options, noting more than half believe they need to provide at least a 10 percent down payment to buy a home. The majority of those surveyed plan to make their down payments with personal savings, meaning it will take some time for them to save up the funds they think necessary to purchase a home. Essent recommends that lenders and realtors provide young homebuyers more information about private mortgage insurance and down payment assistance options for first-time buyers.

The study advances four additional recommendations for real estate and mortgage professionals to better assist young first-time homebuyers: expand the use of digital tools to meet first-time homebuyers’ needs; leverage advance listing features to attract new buyers; use social media to reach first-time homebuyers; and understand the importance of both low interest rates and quality customer service to young consumers.

For more information, visit .
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website