April 2022
AHFA Launches Financial Literacy Campaign
AHFA is pleased to announce that during National Financial Literacy Month, we launched a campaign that is key to the long-term success of the families we work with - financial literacy! The mission of AHFA is to provide homeowner and rental opportunities for Alabamians. Adding financial education as a central part of our program will help us achieve that goal.

Our campaign includes the creation of the AHFA Kids page on our website (https://www.ahfa.com/ahfa-kids). The page contains specific content aimed to children and will provide a wide range of smart, engaging, and fun content that will give Alabama kids new ways of handling and understanding money. We’ve already produced two videos for this page, with more planned in the future.

Adult education-focused content can be found in the homebuyer (https://www.ahfa.com/homebuyers/homebuyer-resources) and renter sections (https://www.ahfa.com/renters/rental-resources) of our website. Additionally, our Investing in You series will focus on content created for adults covering five key principals of financial literacy: invest, save, spend, earn and protect.

These resources are a home-grown, collaborative effort within the Authority – various staff members worked together to create the concept, write scripts, and produce these videos and resources.

Financial literacy principles apply to all stages of life in unique ways. At AHFA, we believe families can work together to stay smart about money.
AHFA Wraps Up Financial Literacy Month with Kids Class
On April 30, AHFA hosted a class for children and grandchildren of AHFA staffers. They learned about needs vs. wants and good saving habits all while having down-home fun at Halcyon Farms.
ERA Alabama Hits $100 Million Mark in Disbursements
ERA Alabama recently surpassed the $100 million milestone in rental assistance distributed to help Alabama renters impacted by the pandemic. More than 22,000 families have received rent and/or utility assistance.

David Young, AHFA’s multifamily administrator said, “We are pleased to have distributed more than $100 million to help Alabamians affected by COVID-19 stay in their homes. Every day, we hear about how the assistance kept Alabamians who were laid off, had work hours reduced, or had medical issues arising from the pandemic, from being evicted or becoming homeless. Others simply needed a hand up to help them catch up on their bills and avoid that risk of eviction. We thank our partners and organizations who have helped promote ERA Alabama for helping us get this vital assistance to Alabamians in need.”

The website at www.eraalabama.com provides resources such as how to apply, jurisdiction information, FAQs, and Success Stories.
ERA Alabama Imminent Eviction Program Update
As of April 1, through the Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative, Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama (ERA Alabama) and Legal Services Alabama (LSA) have prevented evictions for nearly 1,300 cases, providing over $7.7 million in rental and utility assistance payments averaging more than $7,463 per case.

LSA attorney Willie May Jones describes how ERA Alabama’s outreach started the initiative, “When AHFA contacted me, we knew we had to find a means to get the landlords paid and stop these evictions. AHFA’s idea was to expedite those files in which eviction was most imminent (files pending in court). Many of these clients were just a Writ away from homelessness. The program was just what we needed, and there are many more Alabamians still in need.”

Following its successful launch, Felecia Pettway, LSA's development director, provided the leadership necessary to expand the initiative statewide using commensurate funding provided by the Alabama Department of Community Affairs (ADECA). Pettway says, “LSA deeply values our partnership with AHFA and our work to help clients across the state facing eviction to remain in their homes.”

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.  
Update on Mortgage Assistance Alabama

As of April 26, more than $9 million has been disbursed to 916 Alabama households to help homeowners wrestling with mortgage delinquency and prevent foreclosure. Another $40.5 million is under obligation.

The Weekly Program Update, available on the MAA website, details production and includes utilization by county, demographics, and new participating servicers. MAA offers three forms of assistance – mortgage payment assistance, loan modification, and lien extinguishment. The funds are provided by the Homeowner Assistance Fund established by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

For more information about MAA, visit www.mortgageassistanceAL.com
Kids Art Contest Coming Soon
On June 1, AHFA will launch our 2022 National Homeownership Month Kid’s Art Contest. The contest seeks to bring more awareness to National Homeownership Month, and is open to any child or teen ages 5-18 in Alabama.

Children and teens are asked to submit an original art piece (any medium) that illustrates their answer to the question – “What Does Home Mean To You?” 

Watch for full contest details coming soon to www.AHFA.com and our social media channels.
Realtor Spotlight: Kelli Brown, Sweet HOMElife, Trussville
Many years ago when her kids were young, Kelli Brown dreamed of becoming a real estate agent, but she didn’t have the money for the classes. Nearly ten years later, a friend asked her to go somewhere – and that somewhere turned out to be real estate classes. Kelli achieved her dream to become a Realtor in 2015 and has gone on to achieve Top Producer status consistently. She was also nominated for the Birmingham Association of Realtors “Residential Broker of the Year” award two years ago. She actively promotes AHFA and its programs on her social media channels.

Q: How did you hear about AHFA programs? 
A: Probably through KC Haririan with Caliber Home Loans, during the latter part of my first year in real estate. 

Q: Why do you recommend the Step Up down payment assistance program to homebuyers?
A: Most buyers believe you must have a 20% down payment to enjoy home ownership, but that's just not true! Step Up makes it possible to buy a home with limited down payment funds. Plus, another great benefit is the education AHFA provides to help keep the homebuyer in their home once they’ve purchased. I put out marketing pieces regularly about low and no down payment options in hopes to educate and give potential buyers the courage to apply for financing.

Q: What kind of ways is the Step Up program able to help homebuyers? 
A: I have had homebuyers contact me asking for help with rentals and stating their mortgage lender said they did not qualify for financing. Without digging deeper, I would have not discovered that their lender did not offer them any low down payment options. I connect them with a lender who offers AHFA products, and they are now homeowners too! This has happened many times, and thankfully they no longer throw their money away on rent and are building equity in their own home.

Q: What is the best advice you can give to first-time homebuyers? 
A: Don't be afraid to reach out to a real estate agent for a lender referral. We can pair you with a first-time homebuyer friendly lender that can help you get prequalified to buy. 
2nd Quarter 2022 Leading Lenders Announced
Each quarter, AHFA recognizes the top loan officers who are closing the most deals using AHFA homeownership programs: Step Up, Affordable Income Subsidy Grant, and Mortgage Credit Certificates.

The top three Leading Lenders for Fiscal Year 2022, 2nd Quarter are, in alphabetical order:

Congratulations to these lenders! We appreciate them utilizing our programs to make buying a home more affordable for Alabamians.
Marco Turner, Prosperity Home Mortgage
Diana Will (L), Movement Mortgage
FY22, 2nd Quarter Top Participating Lending Company Announced
First Federal Bank is our Top Participating Lending Company for the 2nd quarter of FY22! First Federal is the participating lending institution that closed the most home loans this quarter using our homeownership financing options.

To recognize the lenders of First Federal who closed loans using our mortgage programs during this time period, we asked them to share the biggest myths about buying a home.
I have found that first-time homebuyers have a lot of incorrect information. The #1 myth is that they have to have 20% down payment. They are so excited when we share the AHFA Step Up program with them. We are so excited to be able to offer this loan program to our borrowers!”
One of the biggest myths about buying a home is that all lenders are the same. I enjoy helping first time home buyers reach their goal of homeownership, AHFA’s down payment assistance programs have played a huge part in making this happen for many home buyers. I am thankful to be a part of the select network of lenders who partner with AHFA.”
“The biggest myth about buying a home is that people think they have to wait until they pay off all of their medical collections. I love AHFA’s fast turnaround time on a file and how easy it is to get their help when I have a question. I also love the 4% of the purchase price/down payment assistance that can assist with closing costs as well!”
The biggest myth about purchasing a home is that people need to make a 20% down payment. Times have certainly changed, and there are plenty of loan programs designed with first-time homebuyers in mind. This is why I love the AHFA program. 100% financing! What more could you ask for?! Saving up to make a down payment can be one of the toughest hurdles a first-time homebuyer can face and ultimately, cause them so much stress that they just decide to continue to rent. I absolutely love being able to provide my homebuyers with multiple purchasing opportunities as well as provide them with the proper knowledge of the home buying process.”
The most common misconception I see is the myth that a buyer must be on the job for two full years before they qualify for a loan. If the borrower is paid hourly or is on a set salary, there is NOT a requirement for two full years on a particular job. Some programs do require two years in the workforce, but college or trade school can count toward that two years. If a borrower wishes to use overtime, commissions or bonuses as qualifying income, they have to have received that income for at least two years and that income has to be averaged over a two-year period.”
“The biggest myth is that people can get a better rate with the online lenders they see advertised on TV. In fact, you can usually get the most competitive rates and closing fees when going through a trustworthy local lender!”
The biggest myth about buying home is that consumers think that they must save up a large amount of funds for a down payment. Down payment funds can come from so many different sources, and utilizing the AHFA Step Up program is one of the best!”
The biggest myth is that you need a bunch of money or you need to be in the same job for two years.”  
“I think the biggest myth about homebuying is that you must have perfect credit and job histories. Our job is to let people know that there are many programs with guidelines that may fit their needs. We work with a number of first-time buyers and others who are paying more in rent than a monthly mortgage payment would cost them. It is such a privilege to assist them with the information that they need to make good choices for their future, and many of them like the Step Up program. It is a great tool to help many of my clients reach their goals.”
American Pacific Mortgage Joins Step Up Program
AHFA is pleased to welcome American Pacific Mortgage as a participating lender in the Step Up program.

American Pacific Mortgage has offices conveniently located in Huntsville and Pelham to serve potential home buyers.

For more information, visit https://www.apmortgage.com/.
Outreach & Education in April
April 14: Realtor Lunch & Learn with JPAR Real Estate Coast & County in Birmingham and Diana Will of Movement Mortgage, Fairhope
April 21: Realtor Lunch & Learn with White Oak Realty in Trussville and Donna Davis of Caliber Home Loans in Birmingham
AHFA Offices to Close for May Holiday
The AHFA and ServiSolutions offices will be closed Monday, May 30 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website