January 2022
Mortgage Assistance Alabama Launches Statewide
The U.S. Department of Treasury has allocated $125.6 million to Alabama for mortgage payment assistance under its Homeowner Assistance Fund. AHFA has been designated to administer the program and has named it "Mortgage Assistance Alabama."

The Department of Treasury has approved AHFA's program plan, and Mortgage Assistance Alabama is now open and accepting applications. Eligible homeowners must meet income requirements and have been financially harmed by COVID-19 since January 21, 2021.

Qualified homeowners are eligible to receive:
  • Past due mortgage-related expenses + 12 monthly mortgage payments
  • A one-time payment to homeowner’s participating servicer to recast the loan or be used to fill a financial gap that limits a homeowner’s eligibility for a loan modification or to extinguish the lien
Total assistance per eligible homeowner may not exceed $50,000.

  • Attest to inability to pay mortgage due to a COVID-19 related financial hardship
  • Have a total annual household income of no more than or not to exceed 150% of the area median income
  • Occupy property as primary residence
  • Residence must be located in Alabama
  • Eligible structures: single-family homes (attached or detached) and manufactured housing
  • Maximum original principal mortgage amount on all existing mortgage loans on the property may not total more than the conforming loan limit 

Applications will be accepted Monday-Friday. We expect a high demand for assistance. To shorten wait time and to ensure the prompt handling of applications, we will periodically close the application portal to process completed applications. A portal reopening date will be posted on the homepage of the website once these applications have been processed.

For more information, visit https://www.mortgageassistanceal.com/.
New Year, New Changes to Step Up Program
We've heard from many lenders over the past few months who have shared the hardships low-to moderate-income homebuyers are encountering in the current market: lack of sellers paying closing costs, increasing sales prices, low inventory, etc.

With that insight in mind, we are excited to announce two new changes to the Step Up program. These changes went into effect on January 12.

Increased Assistance Amounts
Now homebuyers can receive even more down payment assistance with AHFA’s Step Up program. The maximum down payment assistance increased from $7,500 or 3% of the sales price (whichever is less) to $10,000 or up to 4% of the sales price (whichever is less), allowing a portion to pay homebuyer closing costs!

VA First Mortgage Program
Now offering a first mortgage option for veterans that can be combined with down payment/closing cost assistance of up to $10,000 or 4% of sale price (whichever is less).

FY22, 1st Quarter Leading Lenders
Gerwin Wallace
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, 1st Quarter are, in alphabetical order:

Congratulations to these lenders! We appreciate them utilizing our programs to make buying a home more affordable for Alabamians.
FY22, 1st Quarter Top Participating Lending Company Announced
loanDepot is our Top Participating Lending Company for the 1st quarter of FY22! loanDepot is the participating lending institution that closed the most home loans this quarter using our homeownership financing options.

To recognize the lenders at loanDepot who closed loans using our mortgage programs during this time period, we asked them for the most important thing potential homebuyers can do besides getting preapproved.
“Besides the preapproval, it’s so important to surround yourself with a team that is going to have your best interests in mind. Buying a home is best done with partners that focus on the relationships and not just the transaction. AHFA has been such a valuable partner to loanDepot, and I really believe we wouldn’t be as good as we are without them!"

“Take care of your credit! Most people don’t even understand that they need good credit scores and a good credit history to be able to purchase a home. I added my son as an “authorized user” about three years ago to give him a head start on having good credit and talk to him all the time about how important it is to maintain good credit. It’s a great feeling know you helped someone achieve their dream of homeownership! I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

“A future buyer should understand their goals and dreams. I know it sounds funny to say, but it really is true. Many people don’t stop and think about the monthly payment goal, their out of pocket goals/plans, or what the intentions are with the new property short term or long term. All of these things matter and are important for not only the future buyer to know, but for us to know as their Loan Consultants. Understanding their goals and dreams allows us to tailor financing options to help check off as many of those boxes on the “wish list”. AHFA many times is the answer to a buyer’s dreams and we LOVE having this as an option to service our community!”

“Once preapproved, don’t apply for any new credit as this can affect the final approval.”

Success Story: The Stewart Family, Cordova
After renting for many years, Desmond Stewart and wife Samantha Simon decided they wanted to put down roots in Cordova. That meant purchasing a home for them and their three children, Xavier, Trinity, and Erion. They talked to Renee Green-Jones at ServisFirst Bank in Birmingham and she told them how AHFA’s Step Up down payment assistance program could help them find their way home.
Applications Accepted for CPRR Funding
AHFA accepted 24 applications in January for the 2022 COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Response (CPRR) funding.

The application cycle was open to projects that received Housing Credit or Housing Credit with HOME awards from AHFA in 2018, 2019, or 2020.

AHFA will utilize all available funding sources to prioritize the completion and financial feasibility of these projects. All COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Request applications will be processed based on the priorities as described in Addendum E of the 2022 allocation plans. Individual project fund types and amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The aggregate amount of COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Response requests will likely materially reduce funds available for new applicants during the 2022 Competitive Application Cycle. Upon completion of the CPRR application cycle, AHFA will make a determination regarding the feasibility of a 2022 Competitive Application Cycle.
ERA Success Story: Lodges on Lincoln, Selma
Terrance Jackson is the property manager at Lodges on Lincoln in Selma, managed by Olympia Management. Terrance has helped residents at Lodges on Lincoln, as well as Magnolia Garden I and Magnolia Gardens II – also Olympia developments located in Selma – apply for assistance through ERA Alabama. Terrance says, “We have helped more than 21% of our residents apply for and receive ERA Alabama assistance.”
He calls the process relatively simple and straightforward, and says, “There is nothing more stressful than an unstable living situation. Many residents who have been affected by COVID-19 have lost significant amounts of money and their ability to pay rent, the largest expense for most, is first affected. This funding enables our tenants the opportunity to not have to make the hard choices between paying rent, groceries, medical care and necessary utilities.”

He shares the story of a family at one of the developments who needed assistance after the father was hospitalized with COVID for over two weeks. Terrance says, “He was unable to work for about a month afterwards. He and his wife and young child fell behind on the rent after his wife also became ill with COVID and was unable to work. They were unsure how they were going to pay for their rent, water and electric bills.” Terrance helped them complete their application for ERA Alabama assistance and said they were approved and received funds within three weeks. He says, “We were able to help them pay and bring their rent and utilities current. They were ecstatic and grateful for these funds and have been able to go back to work without the burden of repaying debts they otherwise could not afford.”
Physical Property Inspections Resume
AHFA resumed on-site physical inspections in January. AHFA will contact management before each on-site inspection to ensure resident, management and AHFA personnel safety during the on-site visit. To assist AHFA’s compliance department with this process, please respond to all AHFA auditor requests for information as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please email the Compliance Department at mfcompliance@ahfa.com.
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 February Holiday
AHFA and ServiSolutions will be closed Monday, February 21 in observance of the Presidents Day holiday. We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 22.
Alabama Housing Finance Authority | Montgomery, Alabama | 334.244.9200 | Email | Website