October 2020
AHFA Board of Directors to Meet in November
The AHFA Board of Directors will meet Thursday, November 19 at 11 a.m. in the AHFA offices. All precautions required for in-person meetings under the state's Safer at Home order, as amended, shall be observed.
Announcing FY20 Leading Lender & Processor of the Year
Each quarter, we recognize the top loan officers who close the most deals using AHFA homeownership programs: Step Up, Affordable Income Subsidy Grant, and Mortgage Credit Certificates. One of these honorees is recognized as our overall Leading Lender for the year.

We are pleased to announce the FY20 Leading Lender is… Gerwin Wallace with Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance! Congratulations, Gerwin! Thank you for promoting our programs and using them to make buying a home more affordable for your customers.

We talked to Gerwin about his win, why he recommends AHFA programs to his customers, and what he enjoys most about his job.
In 2019, AHFA reinstated the Processor of the Year competition. Each time a processor submits a perfect compliance package, they receive a postcard from our compliance staff congratulating them on the perfect submission. The Processor of the Year is earned by the processor who submits the most perfect compliance packages. 

We are pleased to announce that the FY20 AHFA Processor of the Year is…Karen Ragsdale with Prosperity Home Mortgage LLC! Congratulations Karen on your repeat win! We appreciate everything you do to make the homebuying process more efficient and smooth for AHFA customers.
After her FY19 win, Karen sat down with Compliance Examiner Tony Lee for an interview after her award presentation. You can watch that video at https://youtu.be/dX7y7VM94js.
Multifamily Groundbreaking & Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies
During the month of October, groundbreakings and grand openings/ribbon cuttings were held for the following affordable housing developments, financed in part by AHFA's multifamily programs:
October 20: Mayfield Woods in Ozark

48 units
Housing Credits: $450,000
October 22: Trinity Lake in Phenix City

56 units
HOME: $1.6 million
Housing Credits: $859,085
October 22: Providence Park in Opelika

56 units
HOME: $1.34 million
Housing Credits: $957,388
October 29: Howell School Senior in Dothan

55 units
Housing Credits: $866,080
Lender Spotlight: Kimekia Holifield, First Horizon Bank, Hoover
Kimekia Holifield has always had a passion for helping families who want to purchase a home. She is a former real estate agent and also spent nearly 8 years as a certified housing counselor for a local nonprofit. A year and a half ago, she decided to narrow her focus to mortgage lending and joined First Horizon Bank. She says, “I couldn’t have made a better choice than coming to First Horizon. They are dedicated to assisting low- and moderate-income customers through programs and grant funds as well as giving back to the community.” Kimekia was recently recognized as an AHFA Leading Lender for the 4th quarter of FY20.

Q: How did you hear about our programs?
A: I first heard of AFHA programs while working in a past role in financial stability for low- and moderate-income families. I was happy to learn that First Horizon was an approved lender for the Step Up program when I first arrived. It feels good to be on this side of the process and involved in making homeownership possible for so many families.

Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of Step Up for homebuyers?
A: So many customers are focused solely on credit score, they often don’t realize assets are required to purchase a home. Many customers also believe if they are a first-time homebuyer, they are guaranteed down payment assistance. This program has allowed those customers to be able to purchase now, while rates are at historic lows, instead of waiting until they have the down payment saved. I recommend the program to my customers because the rates are very competitive and higher-income earners are also able to use the program.

Q: What do you like most about working with our programs?
A: The Step Up program is very streamlined and easy to use. The process of reserving a loan and sending funds is very smooth, and the program provides exemplary customer service.  

Q: What is the best advice you can give to first-time homebuyers?
A: The best advice that I can give is to remember you are more than your credit score, invest time in a homebuyer education course, and work with the professionals in the real estate field to make a plan for your home purchase. 

Q: Anything else you would like to include?
A: I would like to commend the Step Up Program for remaining available to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. So many investors made credit requirements almost impossible, while the Step Up program kept credit requirements within reason. It means the difference between continuing to rent and becoming a homeowner for some. It certainly makes my job easier being able to provide an affordable option to my customers during this time. 
AHFA Welcomes New Lender to Step Up Program
AHFA is pleased to welcome Valley National Bank as a participating lender in the Step Up program.

Valley National Bank has offices in Auburn and Birmingham to serve potential homebuyers.

For more information, visit https://www.valley.com/.
Huntsville Non-Profit Provides Rent & Utility Assistance in Response to COVID-19
In the past 6 months, Huntsville-based non-profit Neighborhood Concepts, Inc. (NCI) has provided over $52,000 in rent and utility assistance to low-to-moderate income families and seniors facing hardships due to COVID-19, as well as PPE to keep residents safe. 

Recognizing that residents of its communities (including several AHFA-financed developments) would be hardest hit by the pandemic, NCI began work in late March to identify funding for assistance. It was overwhelmed by the support of the local community foundation and the philanthropic arm of several financial institutions. 

To date, NCI has received over $67,000 to support these efforts from BBVA Compass, the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, Enterprise Communities, Truist Foundation and Wells Fargo. 

Training for New Step Up Lenders on November 10
On Tuesday, November 10, AHFA will host a webinar at 3 p.m. for new lenders participating in the Step Up program. For more information or to register, visit https://bit.ly/3oiuj5n.

AHFA regularly offers training opportunities for participating lenders. AHFA's lender training sessions provide information about our various financing options as well as AHFA policies, procedures, eligibility requirements, documentation and more.
AHFA Offices to Close for November Holidays
AHFA, ServiSolutions, and Hardest Hit Alabama will be closed Wednesday, November 11 in observance of the Veterans Day holiday, and Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Please make a note of these dates.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website