Alabama Caucus Information

2022 UPCOMING CAUCUS MEETING INFO!

  • Thurs. June 22nd – 9 am Central hosted by CAPNA! More info coming soon
  • Thurs. Nov. 3rd – 9 am Central

PREVIOUS MEETING INFO:

AHFA News/Updates!

AHFA Launches Financial Literacy Campaign
AHFA is pleased to announce that during National Financial Literacy Month, we launched a campaign that is key to the long-term success of the families we work with – financial literacy! The mission of AHFA is to provide homeowner and rental opportunities for Alabamians. Adding financial education as a central part of our program will help us achieve that goal.   Our campaign includes the creation of the AHFA Kids page on our website (https://www.ahfa.com/ahfa-kids). The page contains specific content aimed to children and will provide a wide range of smart, engaging, and fun content that will give Alabama kids new ways of handling and understanding money. We’ve already produced two videos for this page, with more planned in the future.   Adult education-focused content can be found in the homebuyer (https://www.ahfa.com/homebuyers/homebuyer-resources) and renter sections (https://www.ahfa.com/renters/rental-resources) of our website. Additionally, our Investing in You series will focus on content created for adults covering five key principals of financial literacy: invest, save, spend, earn and protect.   These resources are a home-grown, collaborative effort within the Authority – various staff members worked together to create the concept, write scripts, and produce these videos and resources.   Financial literacy principles apply to all stages of life in unique ways. At AHFA, we believe families can work together to stay smart about money.
ERA Alabama Hits $100 Million Mark in Disbursements ERA Alabama recently surpassed the $100 million milestone in rental assistance distributed. 22,000 families have received rent and/or utility assistance.  The website at www.eraalabama.com provides resources such as how to apply, jurisdiction information, FAQs, and Success Stories.

4/26/22 – Update on Mortgage Assistance Alabama  

As of April 26, more than $9 million has been disbursed to 916 Alabama households to help homeowners wrestling with mortgage delinquency and prevent foreclosure. Another $40.5 million is under obligation.   The Weekly Program Update, available on the MAA website, details production and includes utilization by county, demographics, and new participating servicers. MAA offers three forms of assistance – mortgage payment assistance, loan modification, and lien extinguishment. The funds are provided by the Homeowner Assistance Fund established by the U.S. Department of Treasury.   For more information about MAA, visit www.mortgageassistanceAL.com

Head over to Mortgage Assistance Alabama to check out the Facebook page for Mortgage Assistance Alabama! MAA helps Alabamians struggling with mortgage delinquency keep their home. We’ll be sharing program information, how to apply, production updates, and much more. Follow Mortgage Assistance Alabama to stay up-to-date on the latest about MAA, and please share our page with others who may be interested.

3/1/22 – Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama: Expands Streamlined Process for Additional Developments

In addition to AHFA-funded projects, AHFA participating management companies will now be able to utilize a streamlined process to provide rental assistance to all other rental properties in their management portfolio.

For these projects, benefits include:

  • Save time in assisting tenants applying for rental and utility assistance
  • Allows bulk upload of tenant information by project
  • Certify previously documented tenant information in bulk
  • Improve collection of rental fees (past due and future amounts) up to 15 months
  • Reduce the burden of costly evictions
  • Minimum documentation requirements

The first developer to take advantage of this expanded option was Arbour Valley Management. President Stephanie Tinney shared, “I wanted to touch base and say THANK YOU and your team in helping us streamline the process for our properties. The Park at Forestdale was the first property tested, and we are ready to roll this out immediately to ALL of our other properties. Thank you for helping our team make this happen!” Developers who want to take advantage of this streamlined process should contact era@ahfa.com to get started. 


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. 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.

Assistance:

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.

Eligibility:

  • 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/.

2/8/22 – New Year, New Changes to Step Up Program – changes in effect as of Jan. 21, 2022

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). To find out more, visit https://www.ahfa.com/homebuyers/programs-available.


Click here to check out AHFA’s FY21 Annual Report. The report also contains a link to our financial statements. 


2022 Allocation Plans Approved
The AHFA Board of Directors approved the final 2022 HOME, Housing Credit, and National Housing Trust Fund allocation plans during its December 2 meeting. The allocation plans will be used to direct the application process and funding awards for 2022 multifamily development proposals.   Application materials and timelines are forthcoming and will be announced in upcoming Multifamily Notices.   The plans are available for download at http://bit.ly/2i82idW.

Find out about Emergency Housing Assistance LEARN MORE

8/3/2021Emergency Rental Assistance Flyer – ERA Alabama works with LSA lawyers to expedite cases for renter households who have submitted a rental assistance application online with ERAAlabama.com, have been served a formal eviction notice or court case filing, and are eligible to remain in their existing households based on the landlord’s separate ERA Alabama application and agreement. LSA serves low-income people by providing civil legal aid and by promoting collaboration to find solutions to problems of poverty. They have eight offices around the state that service all 67counties in Alabama. +

Today, twenty lawyers from all eight LSA offices in the state participate in the program. As of July 30, the program has helped 81 Alabama families. Another 25 cases are pending. The Imminent Eviction Prevention Initiative is open to other attorneys whose clients may be interested in participating.

7/29/21 –AHFA conducted a public hearing today in Montgomery concerning proposed 2022 program plans: the HOME Investment Partnerships Program Action Plan, the Housing Credit Qualified Allocation Plan, and the National Housing Trust Fund Allocation Plan. AHFA will accept written comments until 5 p.m. on August 27. All written comments must be submitted using the AHFA 2022 Plan Comment form available at http://bit.ly/2i82idW.

6/3/2021 – 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.


Hardest Hit Alabama Reopens to Help Families Affected by COVID-19 AHFA has taken action to help Alabama families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by reopening Hardest Hit Alabama (HHA). HHA provides short-term mortgage payment assistance to those who have lost employment or income due to COVID-19. 

  • Eligibility Requirements:
  • Maximum assistance: Up to $30,000
  • Total Household income: $91,420 (includes income of all occupants 18+ years)
  • Maximum Unpaid Principal: $300,000 (must include balance of all outstanding liens)
  • Homeowners who are receiving or who have received mortgage payment assistance from HHA in the past are NOT eligible for additional assistance

Anticipating a high demand for this program, HHA will accept applications in cycles of 200 submissions each. Upon receipt of 200 applications, we will temporarily close the application portal to evaluate them. During this time, applicants may check their application status online to confirm they have submitted all required documents.  Homeowners may get more information about HHA and submit an application by visiting www.hardesthitalabama.com

4/22/2021 – AL Caucus Update from the Spring Retreat – See Video of Tim Thrasher HERE

Emergency Rental Assistance Alabama Accepts Applications Beginning March 1

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Alabama is now taking applications. Landlord and tenants can apply at www.eraalabama.com. Call Center staff are available at 833-620-2434 to answer questions and help with applications if necessary. 

ERA Alabama can help renters with past due, current and up to 3 months of expected rent and utility and home energy expenses. Find out more at www.eraalabama.com.

Separate from ERA Alabama, the Act also funds separate rental assistance programs serving residents of Baldwin, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Jefferson Counties, and the cities of Huntsville and Birmingham. Residents in those local areas with separate programs must apply there, not with ERA Alabama. However, if the local program in your area is not yet operating, ERA Alabama might accept your application. Call 833-620-2434 for details.

Anticipated Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive financial assistance through ERA, tenants must meet all of the following:

  • Have a valid rental agreement in their name
  • Household’s total gross income cannot exceed 80% Area Median Income for location
  • The household has experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19, for example:
  • Being laid off
  • Place of employment has closed
  • Reduction in hours of work
  • Loss of spousal/child support
  • Inability to find work due to COVID-19
  • Having to stay home with children due to closure of day care/school
  • Unable to participate in previous employment due to the workplace’s high risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Anticipated Documentation

  • Proof of income (pay stubs, bank statements, letter from employer, award letters, pension)
  • Valid lease or other written documentation of landlord-tenant relationship

Coverage of Rent and Utility Costs

ERA Alabama can help renters with the following costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020:

  • Past due, current and up to 3 months of expected rent costs
  • Past due, current or up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses
  • After the initial 3 months of forward assistance, you can apply for 3 additional months of assistance if funds are still available

While applicants may be assisted for up to 15 months, ERA Alabama will not commit funds for prospective (future) rent for more than a 3-month period at a time. Applicants must reapply every 3 months and will only be assisted if funds are still available


New Option Available for Buyers Combining Step Up with Conventional Financing

There’s a new financing option for homebuyers looking for conventional financing in combination with AHFA’s Step Up program. Effective February 1, 2021, homebuyers earning above 80% of the Area Median Income but not exceeding the $130,600 maximum qualifying income are now eligible for the Step Up Conventional program!

Homebuyers must have a credit score of 680 or higher for this program. All other Step Up eligibility requirements remain the same. This change will allow our Step Up program to help make buying a home more affordable for even more Alabamians! Contact us at homebuyerinquiries@ahfa.com to find out more and for help finding a participating lender in your area.


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FHLB-Atlanta News/Updates

Funding for FHLBank Atlanta’s 2021 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) Homeownership Set-aside Program will be available beginning January 19, 2021

We are enhancing and streamlining the homeownership program offering for 2021 as we work to become Stronger. Better. Together. These updates are designed to increase product impact and meet the current and emerging housing needs in your communities.

  • Program highlights include:
  • Expanding the Community Partners product to include veterans and active-duty military, or their surviving spouse, and COVID-related essential workers. Maximum funding will increase to $10,000 per household
  • Increasing the maximum funding for the First-time Homebuyer product to $7,500 per household
  • Expanding Community Rebuild and Restore product to include COVID­ related FEMA disaster declarations areas

Help Community Heroes Purchase a Home – New Program! Community Heroes, in partnership with FHLB-Atlanta helps law enforcement officers, public school educators, firefighters, and other first responders purchase a home.  Learn more HERE


Office of National Drug Control Policy

We are very excited to share that on Friday, the Administration released a new tool to assist rural community leaders in building an effective local response to the crisis of addiction, the Rural Community Action Guide: Building Stronger, Healthy Drug-Free Rural Communities.  

The guide complements both the Community Assessment Tool, which gives county specific data about deaths and factors which may make a community more vulnerable to addiction, and the Federal Rural Resources Guide, which includes comprehensive information about different federal funds for rural communities impacted by addiction.  The Guide also has a companion supplement, a listing of promising practices which you can find here: Rural Community Action Guide: Promising Practices.

Per Anne Hazlett, news sent on funding announcements every few weeks- to be added to that list, please email Betty-Ann Bryce

Kaboom grant for playground equipment – rolling deadline, fundraising match required – check it out HERE Frequently Asked questions/answers HERE