April 2021
AHFA Accepts Competitive Applications in April
AHFA accepted 36 applications for 2021 Housing Credits and HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds on April 1.

To view a list of the applications submitted in this year's competitive cycle, visit http://bit.ly/2miRlc9.

AHFA administers multifamily programs to create affordable rental housing by providing funding and tax incentives that help developers build or rehabilitate properties for Alabama’s low-income families.

Continue to watch for news and updates relating to the 2021 competitive cycle here and at www.AHFA.com.
FY21, 2nd Quarter Leading Lenders
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 Leading Lenders for Fiscal Year 2021, 2nd Quarter are, in alphabetical order:


We appreciate these lenders utilizing our programs to make buying a home more affordable for Alabamians!
FY21, 2nd Quarter Top Participating Lending Company Announced
FirstBank Mortgage is our Top Participating Lending Company for the 2nd quarter of FY21! FirstBank is the participating lending institution that closed the most home loans this quarter using our homeownership financing options.
 
To recognize the lenders at FirstBank who closed loans using our mortgage programs during this time period, we asked them what they think is the biggest myth when it comes to buying a home. Here is what some of them told us:
“I think the biggest myth is that many borrowers believe they must have a 20% down payment. Well, if they are purchasing a $175,000 house, a 20% down payment is $35,000. To some, that is unfathomable and unrealistic, so if we can educate borrowers about loan options for qualifying, it empowers them to make sound decisions and will help them realize that a low to no down payment option is available, and the hopelessness they may have felt initially is trumped by hope that they could possibly qualify to own a home. That just might change the course of lives for generations to come and that’s why we do what we do … changing the direction of the family tree for the good … helping others get to a better place! That’s why I LOVE my job! It's a pleasure working with the folks at AHFA who help make this dream a reality for so many homebuyers."

“The biggest misconception people have is that there is a need for a hefty investment to buy a home. Yes, you will have to bring something to the table. However, if you work with the right lender and they have great programs like what AHFA provides, you can have an affordable initial investment to get to the home of your dreams."

“I think there are two big myths that intimidate borrowers. One is that you must have perfect credit and the other is that you need a huge down payment. I think AHFA does a great job helping borrowers overcome those myths. They are always surprised when they don’t need 20% down or more to buy a home. AHFA really helps Alabama families achieve homeownership in an affordable way even if they have had some issues in the past.”

“I believe the biggest myth is that you have to have perfect credit. There are several loan programs that allow borrowers with less-than-perfect credit to still get into a home. We do it all the time. If scores are an issue, we’ll also work with our borrowers to educate and assist them in any way that we can to help them improve their scores to help get them qualified to buy.”

Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama is Here to Help
The COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives, not only in terms of our health, but also by dealing a severe blow to our nation’s economy. As the hospitality and services industries were hit particularly hard, we saw restaurants, hotels, retail stores, gyms, nail salons, day cares, and many other businesses permanently or temporarily close.

Our neighbors and friends lost their livelihoods, jobs and income. They then had to face the very real problem of scrambling to figure out how to pay basic bills like housing, utilities, medical care and food. Many turned to credit cards to pay for basic living expenses. Even though the pandemic seems to be on downward slope, neighbors and friends are still trying to figure out how to crawl out of the financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

For those facing tough financial hardships, assistance may be available through ERA Alabama. ERA Alabama funds may be used to provide up to 15 months of rent, utility bills, and home energy expenses (including past due rent and utilities) to help COVID-19-affected residents across the state. Home energy costs are separately stated expenses related to occupancy of a dwelling like propane and fuel oil.

Applicants may be assisted for up to 15 months, including funds for prospective (future) rent for more than a 3-month period. Applicants must reapply every 3 months and will be assisted if funds are still available.

Visit https://eraalabama.com/ for more information or to apply.
Presentations from Spring Virtual Homeownership Forum Now Available
Thank you to the presenters and everyone who “attended” our Spring Virtual Homeownership Forum on April 6. This event received great feedback, and we have posted all of the presentations on our website at https://www.ahfa.com/lenders/2021-spring-virtual-homeownership-forum.

We have separated the videos by speaker, so they may be watched according to interest. 

  • Blake Corder, Corder Real Estate, Broker | AHFA Board Member: Alabama New Construction Outlook
  • James Hall, Freddie Mac, Affordable Lending Manager: HFA Advantage Program & Tools for Real Estate Professionals
  • Tom Horn, Appraiser: Choosing Comps Like an Appraiser & Tips for Winning a Bid in a Hot Market
  • Albert Martinez, Essent Guaranty, Inc., Account Manager, HFA East: Using Mortgage Insurance Creatively
  • Stuart Norton, Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), Data Analytics Coordinator: Alabama Home Sales Data and Analysis

If you wish to watch the forum in its entirety, visit https://youtu.be/GxU7ubpe94E.
Increased Income Limits & Sales Price Limits for MCC Program
With increased income limits and sales prices limits now in effect, more Alabamians than ever may qualify for AHFA's Mortgage Credit Certificate program.

Effective April 15, the maximum sales price in target areas is $381,308 and $311,980 in non-target areas.

The new income limits, also effective April 15, were released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are based upon the state's median income. Homebuyers can earn up to $100,050 in urban areas and $93,380 in rural areas, depending on family size and location.

The new higher sales price and income limits benefit participants in the MCC program, which provides a tax credit to reduce the amount of federal taxes owed by a percentage of the annual mortgage interest paid each year. The remaining annual interest may be claimed as a mortgage interest deduction on the homebuyer's federal tax return.

Qualified homebuyers will receive a larger federal tax break or tax refund each year or benefit from immediate savings by updating the withholdings on their W-4 form.

MCCs may be paired with AHFA's Step Up program or any conventional fixed-rate, FHA, VA, Rural Development, and privately insured mortgages.

To find out more about MCCs, visit https://www.ahfa.com/homebuyers/programs-available/mccs.
Fiscal Year 2021, Through Second Quarter
Multifamily Division:
  • 34 affordable housing developments in the pre-construction phase
  • 21 developments under construction
  • 15 developments pending 8609s (IRS form to obtain housing credit allocation from AHFA)
  • Compliance audits have been completed on 65 of 446 developments

Single-Family Division:
  • $55.2 million in affordable mortgage financing to 318 Alabama families

ServiSolutions:
  • 79,785 loans being serviced, totaling $5.82 billion
FHLBank Atlanta 2021 AHP General Fund Now Accepting Applications
Applications for FHLBank Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) General Fund, formerly known as AHP Competitive, are now open! We encourage you to apply for up to $500,000 for your affordable housing project. Learn more by clicking here.

Applications and all supporting documentation are due to the Bank by midnight EDT on June 4, 2021. Please submit your applications through AHPBuild.
 
Resources to help you succeed:
  • Webinars
  • Learn what’s new for 2021 as well as details on project eligibility, the application process, scoring, and more. View a recording.
  • AHP Implementation Plan
  • Review the AHP Implementation Plan for complete details on program requirements and other related policies.
ServiSolutions Customers: Stay in the Know by Signing Up for Notifications
To better manage your ServiSolutions mortgage account, sign up for notifications – a free feature of your ServiSolutions online services. You can sign up to receive an email notification whenever one of the following transactions takes place:  
  • Payments received
  • Payoffs processed
  • Insurance premiums paid
  • Taxes paid 

Sign up for email notifications simply by following the below steps:  
  • Go to www.servsol.com and click on the Customer CareNet button
  • Sign in to access your mortgage account or register for CCN
  • Click My Profile
  • Select My Loans for the drop down menu
  • Click on the box to the left of the Primary loan. This will highlight the green Select Notifications button.
  • Click on Select Notifications and choose the type of Notifications would you like to receive.
  • Select Save.

You’ll now receive an email each time one of your selected transactions occurs!  If you have any questions about notifications, please contact Customer Service at inquiries@servsol.com.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website