August 2019
AHFA Board of Directors to Meet in September
The AHFA Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, September 25 at 11 a.m. in the AHFA offices.
Success Story: Hidden Hills Trace, Phenix City

Newly constructed Hidden Hills Trace is the Phenix City Housing Authority's first phase in the redevelopment of its World War II-era Riverview Apartments housing complex.

Financed in part by $1.1 million in AHFA-administered Housing Credits, the development is part of the Phenix City Housing Authority's decision to replace their aging housing stock. The new properties have modern amenities such as central heat and air, wood flooring, sizable kitchens with dishwashers, washer-dryer hookups, and convenient parking.

Residents being relocated from Riverview may enter other public housing or convert their assistance to a program called Rental Assistance Demonstration, which allows them to live in any private housing complex in which the owner is participating. Of the 104 families being moved from the western section of Riverview, 54 of them have chosen to relocate to Hidden Hills Trace.

The second phase, an 82-unit, mixed-income development known as Whitewater Village, was approved to receive Housing Credits from AHFA in 2017 and is under construction. Over the next five years, the plan is to demolish all of the Riverview units and redevelop the property for mixed use.

Resident Sindy Lorvanis and her two children, Hannah and Isaac, relocated from Riverview to Hidden Hills Trace. She talks about what she enjoys most about Hidden Hills Trace, the periods of homelessness her family experienced before moving to Phenix City, and how affordable housing has changed their lives.
Outreach & Education in August
Lender training with ServisFirst, Birmingham
Realtor training with the Shoals Area Association of Realtors
Lender visit with DHI Mortgage, Daphne
Lender visit with Bank of England, Daphne
Lender visit with Envoy Mortgage, Fairhope
Realtor training with the Birmingham Area Association of Realtors
Student Spotlight: Miranda Simmons, Fort Payne
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 $750,000 in college and vocational scholarships. 

Meet Miranda Simmons of Fort Payne:

Twenty years passed between high school and starting college for mother of three Miranda Simmons. An unplanned pregnancy and an abusive marriage put her college dreams on hold. But she’s not letting lost time keep her from her goal of earning a college degree.

When Miranda and her children, now 18, 13 and 10, left with only the clothes on their backs, they were able to start over with help from family. “We left with nothing and started over,” she said. “I had to get whatever job I could find. A lot of times that didn’t cover the basic necessities.”

She found employment with the Fort Payne City Board of Education as a bus driver, a position she has now held for 10 years, and part time as a substitute in the school cafeteria. Miranda said, “[Those jobs were] enough with my Section 8 to afford to live in a decent place and not have to scrape together as bad.”

The Simmons family make their home in North Pointe Apartments, a 56-unit family development financed in part by HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds and Housing Credits administered by AHFA.

“It gives me peace of mind to know that I’m giving my children a nice place to live,” she said. “We’ve lived in some awful places because we had no other choice. It's life changing for someone who hasn’t had that before.”

With housing handled, Miranda focused on paying off her car loan. “Once I paid it off, my checks were enough that we had $100 left over a month, enough to afford gas to go back and forth to school," she said. "I don’t want to keep living paycheck to paycheck. I want a future. I want a career. I want to have money in my savings account. I want to be able to send my kids to whatever college they want to go to. I can do all that if I get a teaching degree.”

In May of 2018, Miranda began taking classes at Northeast Alabama Community College, where she maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Signa Kappa Delta. “I’ve had to scale back some on [my part-time employment] to keep my GPA up, but school comes first,” she said.

She plans to transfer to the University of Alabama to complete a bachelor’s degree in social sciences education and become a history teacher. The $1,500 AAHA resident scholarship will help ease the financial burdens that weigh on the dedicated working mother and student.

“It’s very hard for me to get scholarships because of my age,” said Miranda. “A lot of people think younger kids coming out of high school are a better investment. I’m 38 years old. Who’s going to want to invest in me? But I won this one. It takes the pressure off.”

For more information about the resident scholarship program, please contact Arrice Faught, AAHA’s executive director, at arrice@theaaha.org or 205.758.1158.     
Upcoming Educational Opportunities
AHFA will be hosting or speaking at the following events in September:

  • September 4: on-site lender training with MortgageRight in Huntsville
  • September 10: Step Up training for new lenders
  • September 12: on-site lender training with Bank of England in Daphne
  • September 24: Freddie Mac's Home Team Advantage Training
Enterprise Development Celebrates Renvoation
On August 15, an open house and ribbon cutting event was held for Cadence Point in Enterprise to celebrate the rehabilitation of the development's 56 affordable housing units.

In 2017, Cadence Point (originally The Boulevard) restructured its 1995 HOME Investment Partnerships Program loan and received an allocation of additional Housing Credits, both administered by AHFA, for the rehabilitation efforts.

“Having the ability to extend the HOME loan into a new loan with AHFA and the availability of additional Housing Credits for renovation [enabled us] to take this aging project and make it like new again,” said owner Ann Marie Rowlett of Rowlett & Company, LLC.

All of the units are now modernized. The parking lot is brand new, with new playground equipment and a beautiful community room for the residents to use. All of the sidewalks and common areas have been brought up to current ADA standards. The complex is now on par with other newer developments in the area.
“This program has allowed us to make this property more competitive in the market, more beautiful and comfortable to the tenants, and more attractive for the City of Enterprise, all while keeping the rents affordable for the targeted population,” said Rowlett.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website