December 2021
AHFA Board of Directors Meets in December
The AHFA Board of Directors met December 2. The business of the meeting included the annual election of officers. The following slate of officers was approved:

  • Robert L. Smith, chairman
  • Michael C. Toles, vice chairman
  • James W. Rutland, IV, treasurer
  • Carolyn Norman, secretary
  • Robert Strickland, assistant secretary

Since 1983, Dr. Shelton E. Allred has served as chairman of the AHFA Board of Directors. At his choosing, Dr. Allred presided over his last meeting in December, but he will continue to serve as a Board member through his appointed term. In his 38 years of leadership, he led AHFA to many historic milestones, demonstrating an unparalleled devotion to AHFA and the many Alabamians who live in safe, decent, and affordable homes thanks to the programs of AHFA. We are fortunate to have enjoyed his guidance and look forward to his continued service on the Board.

The Board also approved the 2022 allocation plans, an election to convert expiring 2018 private activity bond cap to Mortgage Credit Certificates, and the allocation of National Housing Trust Funds and Multifamily Bonds, as well as a resolution honoring Barbara Wallace upon her retirement after 32 years of service at AHFA.
The Way Home, AHFA's FY21 Annual Report, Released
We are pleased to announce the release of our FY21 Annual Report.
 
Home means different things to different people. Over the years, we have interviewed homeowners and residents who have benefited from AHFA programs. We consistently hear that home means security, comfort, and independence. These are significant ideals, and at AHFA we take seriously our commitment to making home affordable for low- to moderate-income Alabamians, and showing them “The Way Home.”
 
We invite you to explore AHFA’s FY21 accomplishments and listen to the stories of Alabamians who we’ve helped find their way home.
 
We are grateful for the trust placed in us by our partners. We thank the AHFA staff for its dedication to our mission and we look forward to continued progress in the year ahead.

Click here to check out AHFA's FY21 Annual Report. The report also contains a link to our financial statements. 
2022 Allocation Plans Approved
The AHFA Board of Directors approved the final 2022 HOME, Housing Credit, and National Housing Trust Fund allocation plans during its December 2 meeting. The allocation plans will be used to direct the application process and funding awards for 2022 multifamily development proposals.

Application materials and timelines are forthcoming and will be announced in upcoming Multifamily Notices.

The plans are available for download at http://bit.ly/2i82idW.
Developers Talk About Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama Streamlined Process for AHFA-Funded Projects
AHFA’s Multifamily Division recently launched changes that allow for reduced and streamlined documentation and eligibility requirements for AHFA-funded projects.

Benefits include:

  • Save time in assisting tenants applying for rental and utility assistance
  • Allows bulk upload of tenant information by project
  • Certify previously documented tenant information in bulk
  • Improve collection of rental fees (past due and future amounts) up to 15 months
  • Reduce the burden of costly evictions
  • Minimum documentation requirements

We recently talked with two developers who have taken advantage of these changes for AHFA-funded projects – Apartment Services & Management, Inc. (ASM), and Vantage Management, LLC. Celeste Stewart, vice president of operations with ASM shared, “The implementation of the streamlined process was instrumental in assisting our site staff and our residents in completing the applications to ERA Alabama. As the management agent, we were able to upload all resident information through the portal, which ensures that every resident‘s information was complete. Additionally, this new process expedited the review and approval turnaround time, which enabled our residents to receive approvals of assistance more quickly.” Amanda Wetherbee, operations manager at Vantage, agreed, adding, “The expedited system has greatly decreased the number of days required to receive payment. The regular system averaged 145 days. The expedited process averages 20 days from application to receiving funds.”

The results for each development company have been impressive. As of mid-December, Vantage Management had 46 residents receive ERA Alabama assistance totaling just over $91,000. ASM, an early adopter of assisting residents to apply for ERA Alabama funds, has had more than 1,700 residents receive ERA assistance in excess of $1.58 million.

Wetherbee says, “ERA Alabama assistance is the difference between housing stability and vulnerability for many of our residents. All of the households we serve are low income and losing just one paycheck could mean eviction.” She shares the story of one resident who said, “The ERA program has truly been a blessing to my family during this pandemic. After losing my 11-year career as a result of COVID-19, this program has allowed me to maintain housing for my family, while focusing on going back to school to obtain a trade that I have long desired. I graduated on December 10, 2021, with my certification in pipe welding. I am truly grateful for this opportunity of assistance, and truly appreciate the support of this program.”

Wetherbee says she regularly hears stories like this from residents, but she also hears from site managers. CreShunda Murphy, site manager at a development in Birmingham, said, “The emergency rental assistance program has truly been a relief to many families during this challenging pandemic. With many families finding themselves either out of work, being forced to a reduced work schedule, or experiencing an increased hardship, this program has afforded many families to maintain housing, without the additional stress. It has been a great joy working with many of our residents during the process and witnessing the joy and relief after they were awarded the assistance.”

Stewart shares similar feedback, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all Americans, especially the most vulnerable among us. Our communities consist of many families that have been negatively affected by this pandemic, particularly financially. ERA Alabama has provided these families with a much needed sense of housing security, as well as giving them the monetary means to afford daily life expenses, including food and medical needs. Our residents have been overjoyed, thankful, and so appreciative of the help! Our managers and support staff have witnessed firsthand the needs of many being met. Its been a very rewarding and humbling experience, and one we are proud to be a part of.”
Update on Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative
The Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative continues to be a successful component of our Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama program.

In May, AHFA and the ERA Alabama team reached out to the Tuscaloosa Offices of Legal Services Alabama to begin an initial pilot program for Tuscaloosa LSA clients who had existing applications with ERA Alabama, had been served formal eviction notices or court case filings, and were eligible to remain in their existing households based on the landlord’s separate ERA Alabama application. 

The ERA Alabama team worked with LSA attorney Willie Mays Jones to develop an expedited process (cases approved and paid in less than 14 days) for her client’s cases, specifically those with existing (or immediately completed) applications with ERA Alabama. After perfecting the process for the expedited review and processing of applications, the ERA Alabama team collaborated with Attorney Jones and LSA Development Director Felecia Pettway to launch the Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative statewide among the LSA offices in June 2021.

To date, 39 attorneys from all eight LSA offices in the state participate in the program. The top three performing attorneys are:

  • Willie Mays Jones (Tuscaloosa): 52 cases funded for more than $436,000
  • Farah Majid (Birmingham): 28 cases funded for more than $357,000
  • Rae Bolton (Birmingham): 29 cases funded for more than $301,000

The program has prevented eviction for 460 Alabama families with another 146 cases pending.

The Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative is open to other attorneys whose clients may be interested in participating. Please contact era@ahfa.com to find out more about this initiative.  
Barbara Wallace Retires After 32-Year Career
AHFA announces the retirement of Multifamily Manager Barbara Wallace. Barbara has been employed with AHFA since 1989 and retired as of December 31.

During her tenure with AHFA, Barbara provided critical oversight and expertise regarding the development of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, HOME and other key multifamily programs. She worked diligently to develop and perfect the allocation process for each multifamily application cycle, conduct public hearings and coordinate annual summary of participation, refine her expertise further by developing lifelong professional relationships with national affordable housing experts.

Barbara has honorably served AHFA and the citizens of Alabama with remarkable dedication and has earned the respect and admiration of the Board, her fellow employees, and all who are involved in the development of affordable housing in Alabama.

She was honored by her coworkers during a reception on December 8. Please join the AHFA Board and staff in wishing Barbara a long and enjoyable retirement.
Outreach & Education in December
December 7: Single-Family Division staff attend Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama annual Christmas luncheon
December 9: Birmingham Association of REALTORS affiliate trade show
ServiSolutions Customers: Servicing Digital Now Live
Our new Servicing Digital online account management service is now live! If you were previously a Customer CareNet user, you MUST reregister your account with Servicing Digital to keep managing your account online.

The video below provides information on how to register and other tips for the most frequently used areas of the system.
Please bookmark the new website at LoanSphereServicingDigital.bkiconnect.com/servisolutions for future use and save it in your favorites. We hope you find this new system to be more user-friendly and a better resource for your online account management needs.

Contact us at inquiries@servsol.com if you have any questions about the new system.
AAHA Resident Scholarship Accepting Applications for 2022
The Alabama Affordable Housing Association is accepting applications for its annual resident scholarship awards.

Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in an accredited vocational or technical school, college, or university; have at least a "B" average or 3.0 GPA; and meet all other application criteria.

Scholarship awards will be made to qualified tenants and resident family members living at an AAHA-member apartment complex and property/divisional management staff of AAHA-member companies and their children.

Applications must be received by March 4. For more information, visit www.theaaha.org.
AHFA Offices to Close for January Holiday
AHFA and ServiSolutions will be closed Monday, January 17 following the state's observance of the birthdays of M.L. King, Jr. and R.E. Lee. We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, January 18.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website