November 2021
Strickland Inducted into Alabama Building Industry Hall of Fame
AHFA Executive Director Robert Strickland is one of four inductees this year to the Alabama Building Industry Hall of Fame, the highest honor presented by the Home Builders Association of Alabama (HBAA). The induction ceremony took place during the HBAA’s Annual Convention awards banquet on November 5.
Strickland became the first employee of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority in 1987 after a 14-year career in commercial banking. As executive director, he oversees affordable housing financing efforts and the administration of programs providing financing for homeownership opportunities, multifamily rental housing development, and foreclosure prevention.
During his tenure, Strickland has created and instituted programs which have served more than 123,000 families throughout Alabama. These programs—most notably, the Habitat for Humanity Loan Purchase and Step Up programs—have been replicated in other states by fellow state housing finance authorities across the country.
Under Strickland’s leadership, AHFA has enjoyed increased visibility, becoming the authority on affordable housing in the state of Alabama. He maintains strong partnerships with nonprofit groups and statewide associations of bankers and Realtors, as well as the HBAA. 
Announcing FY21 Leading Lender & Processor of the Year
Each quarter, we recognize the top loan officers who are closing the most deals using AHFA homeownership programs: Step Up, Affordable Income Subsidy Grant, and Mortgage Credit Certificates.

We are pleased to announce the FY21 Leading Lender is...Chad Cantrell with Certainty Home Loans in Huntsville. Congratulations, Chad! Thank
you for promoting our programs and using them to make buying a home more
affordable for your customers.

Chad sat down with Compliance Supervisor Tony Lee for an interview after his award presentation.
In FY2019, 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 FY21 AHFA Processor of the Year is...Heather White with Interlinc Mortgage in Birmingham! Congratulations Heather! We appreciate everything you do to make the homebuying process more efficient and smooth for AHFA customers.

Heather also spoke with Tony Lee for an interview after her award presentation.
FirstBank Mortgage Named AHFA's Top Participating Lending Company
FirstBank Mortgage is our Top Participating Lending Company for FY21! Lenders at FirstBank closed the most home loans this fiscal year using our homeownership financing options.

Thank you, FirstBank lenders! Keep up the good work!
Tony Lee (far right) presents award to FirstBank Guntersville staff
Tony Lee (far left) and Single-Family Administrator Carrie Hamaker (far right) present award to FirstBank Birmingham staff
ERA Alabama Update
Funding through Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama (ERA Alabama) continues to increase as initiatives provide assistance to renters at risk of eviction and streamlined process for AHFA-funded projects.

ERA has assisted 7,385 renter households, for an estimated total of $40.2 million dollars in rental assistance and $3.8 million dollars in utility assistance, for a combined total of $44 million dollars. Newly released regulations from the U.S. Department of Treasury have reduced documentation and eligibility requirements, enabling ERA Alabama to streamline the application review process and provide assistance to more renter households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative continues its success. Renters at risk of eviction who have obtained legal representation may have their cases assisted through this initiative which provides assistance to renter households in less than 14 business days. This partnership with Legal Services of Alabama (LSA) has helped 329 renter households, for an estimated total of $2.4 million dollars in rental assistance and $211,000 in utility assistance, for a combined total of an estimated $2.6 million in assistance.

Recently, ERA Alabama launched the Streamlined Process for AHFA-Funded Projects. This streamlined process was created to assist landlords to more efficiently submit applications for multiple tenants through a bulk upload process. 

To date, more than 289 AHFA-funded projects have participated in the program, which includes 1,857 renter households. Overall funding for the program is roughly $3.7 million dollars. Celeste Stewart, with Apartment Services, recently commented on the ERA Streamlined Process for AHFA-Funded Projects and said, "ASM along with AHFA’s ERA Alabama streamlined process has now approved more than $1 million in emergency rental assistance for our residents! Thank you for your help providing this new process for our communities and our residents!”
Student Spotlight: Nima Badri, Palladian Apartments, Mobile
Meet Nima Badri of Mobile:
Nima Badri was selected to receive a 2021 resident scholarship awards from the Alabama Affordable Housing Association (AAHA).

Badri is a 2019 graduate of Baker High School currently attending the University of South Alabama. He expects to graduate in the spring of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. “Many people do not care for school and those who come this far into college just do it for a degree,” said Badri in his scholarship application. “On the other hand, I care for more than just a piece of paper saying that I was able to complete it for some extra money in the future. I actually enjoy the atmosphere and being able to learn more information than I did yesterday. One thing going to college has done for me is open my eyes to so much more potential for learning as I get to see and be around so many people that are all studying different things.”

Career Goals:
He said, “I currently am looking forward to becoming a software engineer, and I am currently trying to find any internships in this field as well. However, I do still plan on going forward with my education and go for my master’s as well. I am still looking at what kind of research I want to do and which university I want to attend, but this will be my main goal when finished up with my undergraduate.”

Impact of Scholarship:
“Especially with COVID-19 coming around and tearing apart so many families such as mine, having this scholarship will help relieve some stress off of my shoulders,” said Badri. “I have been working for the past couple of months, and all my money has been used to help pay bills for me and my mom and also to help with my student loans.”

Living in affordable housing:
“I would like to thank everyone at [AAHA] for helping out communities like mine to further their education,” said Badri. “Throughout my entire life, I never really excelled at anything and was pretty average. But anytime I had a goal in mind, I was able to accomplish them. When I am given a task or see anything that needs to be done, I always go towards the harder tasks just to prove that I can complete them for myself. Academically when I am told something will be difficult, I will try harder just to prove that no matter how hard something may seem with time and effort you will succeed.”

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. 

For more information about the resident scholarship program, please contact Arrice Faught, AAHA’s executive director, at or 205.758.1158.     
AHFA Outreach & Education Opportunities Resume
Thank you to AuburnBank for inviting AHFA Compliance Supervisor Tony Lee to speak at a November 16 event for potential homebuyers.

Lee explained how AHFA's homeownership programs make homeownership more affordable through tax credits and down payment assistance.

Are you a mortgage professional or Realtor and want to know more about AHFA's homeownership programs? AHFA offers on-site lender training on our programs that covers borrower and property eligibility, processing, documentation, income calculations and more. Contact Tony Lee at or Cathy James at today to schedule a date and time!
AHFA Offices to Close for December/January Holidays
AHFA and ServiSolutions will be closed Friday, December 24 and Monday, December 27 in observance of the Christmas holiday.

We will also be closed Monday, January 3 in observance of the New Year's holiday.

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