May 2021
Federal Mortgage Assistance Program Coming Soon
AHFA has been appointed to operate the federal government’s new mortgage assistance program. The U.S. Department of Treasury is providing funding through the Homeowners Assistance Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. In Alabama, the program will operate as “Mortgage Assistance Alabama.”
The program will be developed during the summer under the supervision of the Department of Treasury, which will include a limited test program to assess a proposed plan.

The Department of Treasury is expected to approve the start of the statewide program for this fall. Additional information from the Department of Treasury is available at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/homeowner-assistance-fund.
For more information, and to sign up to be notified when the statewide program opens this fall, visit www.ahfa.com/maa.
AHFA Board of Directors to Meet in June
The AHFA Board of Directors will meet Thursday, June 24 at 10 a.m. in the AHFA offices.
Ozark Family Receives Rental Assistance from ERA Alabama
Darrell Watkins and his family recently received help from Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama. Darrell lives in Ozark, and began a tax business on January 1, 2020. Just after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he was saddened to have to close his new business. He says, “I didn’t have a clue what we were going to do.”

Darrell had been following the news and heard about the program. "When I heard about the rental assistance program, I called right away, but it had not started yet. So the date it began, I started the application process.”
 
Darrell noted that the process was easy to understand and follow through. "My landlord was great. They gave me all the information I needed to complete the application, and they were very patient with me.”

Darrell was approved for assistance to cover past due rent expenses plus 3 months of future rent. He says, “This is giving us time to get caught up. I am thankful for the help, and I would tell others who are struggling not to hesitate to apply.”

Visit https://eraalabama.com/ for more information or to apply.
Developer Tips for Success: Ann Marie Rowlett
We are excited to introduce a new feature called Developer Tips for Success. Participation in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and other federal rental housing programs requires significant individual and team experience/expertise, a tolerance for financial risk, and an ability to obtain major banking and credit relationships. We hope hearing from successful AHFA developers will inspire and educate others who are interested in becoming affordable housing owners/developers or increasing their level of experience. Our first participant in this new feature is Ann Marie Rowlett, partner and COO at The Bennett Group, LLC. 
 
Q: How long have you worked in the affordable housing industry?
A: I began working in affordable housing July 2002. 

Q: What inspired you to participate in developing affordable housing?
A: At first, it was just a new job and something I had no experience doing. As time went on, I learned more about the processes, funding sources available for this housing, and the amazing difference that this housing can provide in the lives of the populations that need it most. This housing fills a large demand for those families and individuals that make too much money to live in public housing yet cannot afford rents in conventional multifamily housing. Seeing the end product, which is always beautiful, is such a blessing to the community in which it’s located as well as the tenants who reside there. We always invite tenants to speak at our open house functions. Listening to their stories and how much this housing means to them is worth all the effort that it takes to get there.

SF Success Story: Shanna & Joseph Seay
Shanna and Joseph Seay got one of the best Christmas presents ever when they signed the papers on their new home in December 2020. They had been thinking of buying a home for a long time, but as Shanna says, “The timing just never was right.” After renting an apartment for a while, they moved into a rental home, but as Shanna shares, “It was a very old home and needed lots of work, and it did not have enough space for all of us. One night we had a major leak under the sink in the kitchen, and that was it. We decided we wanted our own home and one that didn't need so many repairs.”
 
They started to compile a list of what they wanted in a home, and it started with more room for their family of five including children Lorna (20), Shelby (19), and Sophie (13). They also wanted to find a home in a small neighborhood so they would know their neighbors but also have privacy, as well as an energy efficient home with new appliances and a kitchen island.
 
Natives of Fairhope, Shanna is an office manager for a local landscaping company and Joseph is a K-9 officer for the police department. They wanted to find a home in the Fairhope area and turned to Bree Shores at FirstBank Mortgage. Shanna says, “She told us some things we needed to do to get ready. We worked hard to pay bills off and get the scores we needed.”
 
Even with all that hard work, the Seays were still coming up short when it came to the down payment. Shanna says, “We had saved, but we still needed more. Bree told us about the Step Up down payment program, and it was a prayer answered! She guided us through the program, and we are so glad we did it. We definitely recommend others use the Step Up program so they can achieve that dream of owning their own home too!”
 
Shanna says she most enjoys walking into her home and knowing it’s hers. “If I do repairs, it’s for my house not someone else's, and it’s an investment. This is my retirement and we couldn't be happier. It still feels like a dream! 
Development Spotlight: Trinity Lake, Phenix City
Trinity Lake is a 56-unit affordable housing development for families in Phenix City that became the first AHFA development to utilize funding from the National Housing Trust Fund. In addition to the $449,160 in HTF funds allocated to Trinity Lake, the development also received $1.6 million in HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds and $859,085 in Housing Credits, both administered by AHFA, to help finance its construction.

AHFA recently spoke with the developer Fred Bennett, managing partner of The Bennett Group, and Brian Hollyhand, president of Hollyhand Companies Inc., to get more information about Trinity Lake.

Q: How were you able to utilize HTF to benefit the Trinity Lake development?
A: (FB) As COVID and rapidly increasing costs threatened the financial feasibility of the project, the HTF funds, along with some favorable financing from United Bank, helped immensely.

Q: Who does the development serve?
A: (FB) This is a family-oriented property and features a children’s play/activity room. This hasn’t been utilized during the COVID year, but we’re expecting to host some kids’ activities and after school programs soon. 

Welcome new lender, Davidson Homes Mortgage!
AHFA is pleased to welcome Heritage Mortgage LLC DBA Davidson Homes Mortgage as a participating lender in the Step Up and Mortgage Credit Certificate programs. Davidson Homes Mortgage is conveniently located in Huntsville to serve potential home buyers.

For more information, visit https://davidsonhomesmortgage.com/.
Six Nominations Received for 2021 Manager of the Year Award; Winner to be Named in June
Each year, the Manager of the Year award recognizes outstanding management staff at AHFA-funded multifamily housing developments. Nominees are evaluated on tenant relations, management experience, and education as well as the complex's curb appeal and AHFA program compliance.

AHFA received six nominations for the 2021 Manager of the Year award.

This year’s nominees are:
  • Stephanie Bentley, Hallmark Crestmoor in Hartselle
  • Edra Gray, Lodges on Lincoln in Selma
  • Rene’ Hendrix, Emerald Valley in Evergreen
  • Lori Posey, Villas at Cloverdale in Cullman
  • Paige Smith, High Forest I & II in Jasper
  • Christy Stuckey, The Plaza at Centennial Hill in Montgomery

Who will win?? We can’t tell you just yet! We have a special surprise planned for this year’s winner and don’t want to spoil it. So check back in June for an announcement of the 2021 Manager of the Year.

Congratulations to this year’s nominees! We appreciate all of you and your hard work and dedication!
Multifamily Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies
During the month of May, grand openings/ribbon cutting ceremonies were held for the following affordable housing developments, financed in part by AHFA's multifamily programs:
May 18: Lodges on Lincoln, Selma
56 units
HOME: $1.6 million
Housing Credits: $817,197
May 19: Appaloosa Run, Andalusia
56 units
HOME: $2.36 million
Housing Credits: $894,566
National Housing Trust Fund: $408,322
#KeepCoolSummer: Celebrating National Homeownership Month
June is National Homeownership Month, and we're celebrating the observance with #KeepCoolSummer.

Throughout the month, we will share homebuying tips, myths, and testimonials from recent homebuyers on our social media to highlight ways potential homebuyers can keep their cool when the mortgage market heats up.

Follow us for great content that you can share to your social media pages.

AND: We’ll also have a Facebook contest at the end of the month, and the right answer could win one lucky winner two cool prizes - a $25 Frios gift card and a $25 Visa gift card. You just need to pay special attention to our #KeepCoolSummer posts. If you're not already following us, click on the icons at the bottom of this email to go directly to our social media accounts.
AHFA Offices to Close for July Holiday
The AHFA and ServiSolutions offices will be closed Monday, July 5 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website