AHFA Thresholds Newsletter: August 2015
AHFA Welcomes New Board Member
The AHFA board and staff welcome Jennifer P. Autrey of Aronov Realty in Montgomery to the Board of Directors.
Autrey was appointed by Alabama Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey and replaces Steve Stanley.
Also this month, Michael Toles was reappointed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for another seven-year term as a board member.
Board of Directors to Meet in September
The AHFA Board of Directors will meet in public session in the AHFA offices at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 22.
Hardest Hit Alabama Eases Burden by Making Monthly Mortgage Payments for Montgomery Homeowner
Hardest Hit Alabama is available to help financially distressed, eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure by making their mortgage payments up to $25,000, providing funds to qualify for a loan modification, or assisting with a short sale.
The federally funded program helped Annette Walters of Montgomery after she lost her job and lacked the savings needed to pay her bills while she waited to qualify for disability benefits.
“Things were just going downhill,” said Walters. “I fell on hard times and have been going through a rough patch.”
A friend recommended the Hardest Hit Alabama program. “The counselors were so nice and sweet while I worked to get everything together. Once the paperwork came in, it was just tears I was so happy.”
Though she continues to wait to be approved for disability benefits, Walters doesn’t have to worry about the security of her home while HHA handles the monthly mortgage payment.
“I’m just so thankful, so grateful for Hardest Hit Alabama,” she said. “It is a great program. I would recommend this program to everyone that I can.”
New Public Housing in Huntsville Aims to ‘Break the Cycle of Generational Poverty’
Chestnut Glen, a 40-unit development built by Huntsville Housing Authority, officially opened on Monday, August 24.
The development, financed in part by multifamily bonds from AHFA, is a hybrid property with a mix of both public and affordable housing.
Chestnut Glen offers residents a community building with computer center and exercise/fitness room, a playground, and a basketball court.
Under the terms of their leases, HHA is requiring all 40 tenants at Chestnut Glen Apartments off Research Park Boulevard to “move up and out” of public housing within five years, said housing authority Executive Director Michael Lundy.
“We are breaking the cycle of generational poverty in public housing as we know it,” Lundy said at the grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.
Moody’s Report Finds HFAs in Strong Position to Capitalize on Surge in Millennial Homebuyers
Moody’s Investors Service reports that housing finance agencies like AHFA are in a strong position to capitalize on the wave of millennial homebuyers who are prepared to enter the market because of programs targeting first-time homebuyers.
HFAs are able to offer down payment and closing cost assistance programs to first-time homebuyers, making millennials a natural fit for HFA loans.
Roughly 15 percent of millennial homebuyers financed 100 percent of the purchase price of their homes, and Moody’s anticipates this number growing as more millennials become homeowners.
HUD Announces Grant Program for Experienced Rural Housing Nonprofits
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced the availability of funds under its Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants program.
The Rural Capacity Building program is a way HUD recognizes the vital role non-profit organizations play in implementing community-building programs like the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, especially in rural areas. The funds appropriated under this program are intended to serve high-need rural areas and enhance the capacity of organizations that participate in community development activities in those areas.
HUD anticipates awarding a total of $5 million to four recipients, with each receiving between $500,000 and $2,500,000. Eligible applicants must have IRS 501(c)(3) status and demonstrate experience working with rural housing in one or more states in five or more of the federal regions described here.
The deadline to apply is September 14, 2015.
For more information: http://1.usa.gov/1VkQBQc
Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years Later
Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, as the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes to strike the United States. It was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, and the third-strongest landfalling U.S. hurricane. Tropical storm force winds, powerful enough to rip shingles from roofs and topple trees, extended more than 100 miles from the center. Katrina left in her wake billions of dollars in damage, nearly a million people displaced and more than 1,800 dead.
With nearly 300,000 homes destroyed throughout the region, temporary housing arrangements were an initial priority. As our state’s affordable housing resource, AHFA was granted permission by the Internal Revenue Service to allow owners of multifamily housing developments financed with HOME funds and/or Housing Credits to provide temporary housing in vacant units to displaced individuals. Nearly 150 families were able to find sanctuary in an AHFA-financed development.
Unfortunately, nearly 50 AHFA developments in the disaster region sustained damage from the hurricane and the four accompanying tornadoes, including three with major damage.
Recognizing that safe, decent and affordable housing remains key to any rebuilding efforts, AHFA continued to do what it does best – provide affordable housing opportunities for the residents of Alabama.
Following the passage of the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2006, AHFA used its HOME and Housing Credits programs to encourage creation of multifamily rental housing in the 11 Alabama counties declared disaster areas in the wake of Hurricane Katrina – Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Mobile, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Washington.
In addition, AHFA requested and received allocations of Gulf Opportunity Zone Housing Bonds from the State of Alabama to be issued through its First Step homeownership financing program.
Ultimately, AHFA issued $110 million in GO Zone single-family housing bonds and $47 million in multifamily Housing Credits to the counties hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.
Six Years. Still Home.
It has been six years since AHFA closed the doors at the Perry Hill Road location that was its home for 20 years. Staff worked to relocate, unpack and reorganize in only two days of down time.
AHFA reopened on August 10, 2009, in the current offices at Halcyon Pointe Drive in Montgomery.
AHFA & ServiSolutions to Close for Labor Day
The AHFA and ServiSolutions offices will be closed Monday, September 7 in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8.
Please make a note of this date.
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