AHFA Board of Directors to Meet in June

The AHFA Board of Directors will hold its annual meeting on Wednesday, June 24 at 11 a.m. in the AHFA offices.

The 15-member board will discuss various agenda items including the 2015 HOME/Housing Credit funding awards.

June is National Homeownership Month

Seeking to encourage Americans to learn more about financial management and explore homeownership opportunities in their communities, this observance began as a week-long celebration during the Clinton administration in 1995. In 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed the observance should span the entire month of June.

AHFA is proud to actively engage in increasing homeownership opportunities for Alabama’s citizens. We believe that homeownership offers many benefits, including strengthening families, building communities, and promoting personal responsibility and well-being.

Throughout June, AHFA will be sharing “Making Homeownership Happen” posts each Tuesday and Thursday on our Facebook page. These posts will feature homeownership resources, success stories about Alabamians who’ve used AHFA programs to help make their homeownership dream a reality, and information about other organizations that are also committed to providing safe, decent and affordable housing for tens of thousands of Alabamians each year.

Combining Step Up with AHBI Makes Homeownership Affordable Option for First-Time Buyer

Single mother and long-time renter Mary Bland needed more space for her teenage son, a varsity athlete, to practice. Bland said her 16-year-old son has always wanted a backyard to play in. “He is a great kid and does not ask for much,” she said.

Realtor Janice Blakeney of Advantage Realty helped Bland find a newly-constructed home in a developing Troy subdivision.

“Some of the things I was looking for in a home were three bedrooms, more cabinet space, and a safe neighborhood,” said Bland.

A three-bedroom, two-bathroom patio home, built by Matthew McIntyre of Delta Land, LLC.,was the perfect fit. The house is located in the quiet Deer Stand Hill subdivision only minutes from Bland’s job as a bookkeeper at a regional community mental health facility.

For financing, Bland sought help from Anchor Mortgage in Montgomery. Loan officer Reba Curtis recommended Bland apply for an innovative offering by AHFA, the Alabama Home Buyer Initiative.

The Alabama Home Buyer Initiative was a mortgage enhancement offered in conjunction with AHFA’s Step Up mortgage program. Participating borrowers were able to benefit from Step Up’s 30-year, fixed-rate financing and down payment assistance as well as private mortgage insurance (PMI) provided at no cost to the homebuyer via AHBI. During its year-long run ending in March 2015, AHBI assisted more than 1,600 homebuyers and generated approximately $243 million in home sales.

Bland said Step Up’s financing and down payment assistance made it affordable for her to purchase a home. She noted that her house payment is only slightly higher than the rent she had been paying.

“This was the easiest and most rewarding experience,” she said. “I have told everyone I know that this was a piece of cake. This was easier than purchasing a car.”

Bland and her son moved in on the same day her loan closed and are enjoying their home as much as they had hoped.

“We love our new home,” said Bland. “My son and I go into the backyard and throw the football, and I also play catch with him.”

Habitat Birmingham Home Builders Blitz 2015:

One Week.Eleven Builders. Eleven Families

Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity partnered with area home builders to raise the walls on 11 homes in partnership with low-income families seeking decent and affordable housing in the city of Clay as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz 2015.

During this year’s Home Builders Blitz, 11 families achieved their dream of homeownership, thanks to the skilled labor provided by the local professional home builders and construction companies as well as the many volunteers. The professional home builders and Habitat Birmingham worked closely together to organize this year’s blitz build securing funds, subcontractors, and donations of building materials.

“This is our 10th Annual Home Builders Blitz, and we are very excited to partner again with the local professional home builders and contractors to engage them in Habitat’s mission of helping families in need with quality affordable homes,” said Charles Moore, Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity President and CEO. “By sharing their talents and skills, we are able to increase the number of new homes that we will build this year and help more families in need of affordable housing. We are especially grateful and thank all the builders, contractors and sponsors for their commitment and dedication in making the 2015 Home Builders Blitz a success.”

Construction on the homes began on April 30. Families, including the Russells, received their keys on May 7.

“Owning my own home will make me feel extremely blessed, and words can’t express how thankful I am,” Russell said. “My kids will be so excited. This is truly a blessing, and I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity.”

Partner families qualify for Habitat’s homeownership program through a demonstrated need for an affordable housing solution, having the ability to repay a no-interest mortgage, demonstrating the willingness to complete required educational workshops, and investing 300 hours of sweat equity.

“Since our first Home Builders Blitz in 2006, our partnership with the local home builders and our community sponsors has made the dream of homeownership a reality for 86 families. After this year’s Blitz, the number of families served by blitz builds goes up to 97. This accomplishment was only made possible by the generosity and support of the local home builders, contractors, sponsors and volunteers,” Moore continued.

AHFA was a proud sponsor of this year’s blitz build.

New Hardest Hit Alabama Ads Now Airing

We are excited to announce that Hardest Hit Alabama has new TV advertisements running in various media markets throughout Alabama. The new spots are consistent with other HHA marketing materials and direct interested homeowners to HardestHitAlabama.com for full program details.

Please see the new spots below:

Theodore Manager Honored for Exceptional Service

Amy Cable, manager of four affordable housing developments in Theodore, was recently honored as the Alabama Housing Finance Authority’s Manager of the Year.

As manager, Cable oversees the daily operations of Hounds Run, Greenbriar Townhomes, Peppertree and Sperry Landing, a total of 377 units.

The Manager of the Year award recognizes outstanding management staff at AHFA-funded multifamily housing developments. Nominees are evaluated on tenant relations, experience and education, the complex’s curb appeal, and AHFA program compliance.

“This award is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for the hard work of managers like Amy,” said AHFA Executive Director Robert Strickland. “The AHFA board and staff are proud to honor such dedicated individuals.”

Apartment Services & Management, Inc. nominated Cable for the award she received during the Alabama Affordable Housing Association’s annual conference.

“Apartment Services is fortunate to have Amy,” said Vice President Celeste C. Stewart. “Her strong work ethic and dedication to her job are commendable. She maintains a friendly yet professional relationship with all of her tenants and is held in high regard by our home office staff. Her job performance, day in and day out, is exemplary of an outstanding site manager.”

FHLBank Atlanta Now Accepting Applications for Affordable Housing Program’s Competitive Funds

Applications are now available for the FHLBank Atlanta’s 2015 Affordable Housing Program Competitive Program. AHP Competitive will award up to $500,000 per project in real estate equity for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, and development of affordable rental and ownership housing.

If you are a housing developer, public entity, contractor, or community builder looking for funding for affordable housing, funds are available to support projects of all sizes and scope. Potential applicants must work with an FHLBank Atlanta member financial institution to complete the AHP application. A list of member financial institutions is available on FHLBank Atlanta’s website.

The deadline for submitting applications and all supporting documentation is July 2, 2015.

For more information, visit http://corp.fhlbatl.com/services/affordable-housing-programs/.

Each year, FHLBank Atlanta sets aside 10 percent of its annual net income to invest back into its members’ communities through the Affordable Housing Program (AHP). AHP Competitive is one of the largest sources of private affordable housing funding available today. Since 1990, FHLBank Atlanta has awarded $672 million in AHP Competitive funds, which has resulted in the financing of more than 106,000 affordable units of rental and ownership housing.

AHFA Offices to Close for July Holiday

The AHFA offices will be closed Friday, July 3 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. AHFA and ServiSolutions® will reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 6.