June 2021
AHFA Board of Directors Meets in June
The AHFA Board of Directors met June 24. AHFA welcomed recently appointed members Annie Furrer, Adam Harris, and Glenn Horton to their first meeting.

Among other business, the board approved the draft versions of the 2022 HOME, Housing Credit, and Housing Trust Fund allocation plans as well as the allocation of National Housing Trust Funds.
AHFA Announces 6 Developments Awarded National Housing Trust Funds
At its June 24 meeting, the AHFA Board of Directors approved the allocation more than $5.8 million of National Housing Trust Funds to six developments, which included 41 set-aside units for extremely low-income residents.

The National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) was established by Congress under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. HTF is a formula grant program to be administered by the states.

As administrator of Alabama’s National Housing Trust Fund allocation, AHFA allocates funding for the development of decent, safe and sanitary rental housing targeting extremely low-income households with a preference for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Lender Spotlight: Bree Shores, FirstBank, Fairhope
Bree Shores has been in the mortgage business for 4 years after working as a real estate agent. She says, “The lender I worked best with is now my manager at FirstBank. She recognized I understood the lending side of real estate and offered me a position on her team.” Since switching to a career as a mortgage lender, Shores has received the FirstBank Mortgage 2019 Alabama Award of Excellence, FirstBank Mortgage 2019 Club of Excellence, and in 2019 and 2020, placed in FirstBank Mortgage’s Top Ten in Customer Satisfaction on Social Survey.

Q: How long have you worked with AHFA’s homebuyer financing programs?
A: When I was a real estate agent, I knew about the Step Up program and loved it. It helped so many of my clients purchase a home, and I knew it would be a program I would definitely use as a mortgage banker. 
 
Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of Step Up for homebuyers? 
A: The higher income eligibility limit and the fact that it can be used anywhere in the state of Alabama has been a great benefit to my borrowers. I have had several customers that would not have been able to purchase without this program, especially first-time homebuyers in this current market. Sellers are no longer accepting offers with buyer paid closing cost, and buyers may have the funds for down payment or closing cost, but not both. 
 
Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of the MCC program for homebuyers?
A: MCC has been a game changer for several of my borrowers. Using an MCC can make a borrower’s purchase price eligibility change as much as $25,000. That difference in purchase price can be substantial in what homes a buyer may be able to find.  
 
Q: What makes you recommend the Step Up and/or MCC program to your customers? 
A: Whenever I have a borrower, normally a first-time homebuyer, who needs help with the down payment or needs to qualify for a higher purchase price.
 
Q: What do you like most about working with our programs? 
A: I like working with AFHA programs because they provide options that are not offered anywhere else. They give me extra tools to work with to help my clients finally own a home. They can stop paying into the equity of their landlords and start building equity for themselves.
 
Q: What is the best advice you can give to first-time homebuyers? 
A: My best advice is to be patient and listen to their real estate agent. Purchasing a home is a process, from finding the right home in your price range to signing all the documents at closing. There are so many moving parts to the process, and your mortgage banker and your real estate agent are there to guide you through the process and help you understand what is going on along the way.
 
Q: What do you think makes you a great lender? 
A: I don’t give up easily, especially if my client is willing to put in the effort as well. I treat their home purchase as if it was mine or one of my children’s. I want the best for them, and I am not going to cut corners just to make it easier on me. 
Montgomery Renter Thankful for ERA Alabama Help
C. Fuller in Montgomery recently received assistance from Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama and agreed to share her story so others would know, “The help is out there – it’s real.”
 
Fuller was laid off from her job at a plant making parts for BMW and Mercedes, and then contracted COVID-19 last December. She had paid her rent in December, but her unemployment compensation was paused because there was a problem with her paperwork. She was accumulating late fees and having trouble paying utility and other bills. She heard about Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama on the news and kept checking the AHFA website, so she knew when the program opened.
 
Fuller has a 26-year-old son and currently lives alone. She said the help from ERA Alabama, “Has been a such a stress reliever. I’m ready to get back in the ball game and get back to work, but this has just been such a blessing.” She says many of her neighbors thought the program wasn’t real and was just for TV. “I told them – you can go ahead and think these people aren’t going to help, but I’m going to go ahead and apply and get help. Then once everyone found out it was real, they all started asking me how to apply and what they needed to do.”
 
Fuller says her landlord was a great help and made sure the paperwork was in order, which quickened the process. “You just have to get the right paperwork in order and submit the right paperwork. They will give you a case number where you can check back on it and see if it’s getting through.”
 
Fuller says, “I just want people to know this is real. We went through a pandemic – a bad pandemic, and the government put this money out there to help people and their families. I took the opportunity, and this has truly been a light at the end of the tunnel. People should take advantage of this help – that’s what it’s there for.”

For more information or to apply, visit www.ERAAlabama.com.
Luverne Development Rocks for Alzheimer's Awareness
Meadowcrest Apartments in Luverne recently hosted its fifth annual Rock-A-Thon fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association.

Site Manager Peggy Fowler said, "I started this because I wanted us to do something to reach out to others the way our community reaches out to us. What can we do as an elderly/disabled complex? That’s when the idea of rocking came to me. All my tenants can sit in a rocking chair and rock."

Each year, Meadowcrest residents call, mail letters, and do activities to collect donations leading up to their rocking day of celebration. Fowler said, "It is an awesome day. We have about 30 rocking chairs under our gazebo, and we have the Pepsi wagon set up with free food, sodas, water, and, of course, we have door prizes. We also have T-shirts and caps made for each year so the funds from this goes toward our goal, also it lets everyone know about our fundraiser and our complex as people wear these. On this day we have live entertainment, and we always inform people about Alzheimer’s disease."

The local event is usually held in conjunction with the Alzheimer's Association's The Longest Day fundraising event, which is held on the day with the most light - the summer solstice. This year Meadowcrest residents celebrated a little earlier, on June 12. 

For the last three years, Meadowcrest has been recognized as the Alzheimer's Assocation's top fundraising team in Alabama. Their 2021 event raised $15,000. 

Fowler said, "We are so excited! Each year, we try to top what we did for the previous year. This has begun such a thing for our community that people will see when we are having our event and then ask when they need to send their check. We also have people ride by the complex and see the signs. They share stories about family members with Alzheimer’s and ask how they may donate. It is really a sweet thing for so many to share their stories with us."

Meadowcrest is a 32-unit elderly development located in Luverne. Meadowcrest received allocations of Housing Credits in 2013 and 1991 totaling more than $104,000 and was awarded $985,000 in Multifamily Bonds in 2013.
ServiSolutions Customers Can Stay in the Know with Email Notifications
Want a tip to help better manage your 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

Visit www.ServSol.com to sign up for email notifications.
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