FY19 Annual Report Alabama Housing Finance Authority

Our work shows us every day that affordable housing transforms communities and drives local economies. Since 1980, AHFA, a self-supporting public authority, has helped more than 73,000 Alabamians purchase a home and has provided funding for more than 48,000 rental housing units.

In FY19, our Single-Family Division programs helped more than 1,000 Alabamians achieve the dream of homeownership. The Step Up down payment assistance program continued to drive the affordable mortgage market. Also in FY19, AHFA announced a new homeownership initiative– the HFA Advantage product. In addition to the down payment assistance currently offered through Step Up, this product provides eligible borrowers a grant to help with loan closing costs.

Our emphasis on outreach and education resulted in more than 60 webinars, trainings with lenders and/or Realtors, and presentations at first-time homebuyer events to share information about how our programs make buying a home more affordable.

The Multifamily Division continued efforts to provide much-needed quality affordable rental housing across the state. In May, our board approved funding awards to help build or rehabilitate/preserve 1,119 units in 19 counties. Approximately 74 percent of those units will be new construction, with the remaining percentage representing rehabilitation/preservation projects. During the year, 20 developments opened for occupancy offering 1,600 units of affordable rental housing. At the same time, our Multifamily Division ensured programs reach low- and extremely low-income populations and increase access to supportive services.

In September, Appaloosa Run, a 56-unit new development for families in Andalusia, became the first development in Alabama to break ground after receiving a National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) allocation. The HTF was established by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Funds are designed to develop new construction of decent, safe and sanitary rental housing, with an initial preference for extremely low-income homeless or transitioning veterans located primarily in underserved rural areas. Construction on Appaloosa Run is scheduled to be completed in late 2020.

You’ll find more information about our work in FY19 further in this report. We also highlight some of the Alabamians we’ve helped over the past year -- people like Bird Shi, who needed to buy a home for his family of six and could only do so because of the down payment assistance provided by our Step Up program. You’ll also hear how affordable rental housing has changed the lives of a family of three after they experienced periods of homelessness moving from Florida to Alabama. These are the people behind the numbers, and they are the reason for the work we do.

As always, thank you to everyone who played a role in AHFA’s achievements in FY19 and helped elevate our mission.

Mission: The Alabama Housing Finance Authority provides homeowner and rental opportunities for Alabamians.

homeownership Programs

click to expand


Bird Shi, Dadeville

Bird Shi was renting an apartment when his landlord informed him he would have to move out – quickly. In the video below, he shares his homebuying journey, including how his lender and Realtor made the process fast and easy. He also tells us how the Step Up program helped him buy the home that he and his wife and four kids now enjoy.

Step Up provides down payment assistance and a competitive 30-year, fixed interest rate for homebuyers who earn less than $97,300 and meet standards for creditworthiness. The down payment funds are secured by a 10-year second mortgage and are combined with a 30-year, fixed-rate first mortgage.

For even greater savings, Step Up can be combined with a Mortgage Credit Certificate, a tax credit that also frees up income to qualify for a mortgage. AHFA's down payment assistance and mortgage tax credits make homeownership affordable across Alabama.

Leading Lenders

Each quarter, we recognize the top loan officers who are closing the most deals using AHFA homeownership programs: Step Up, Affordable Income Subsidy Grant, and Mortgage Credit Certificates.

We are pleased to announce the FY19 Leading Lender is… Denise Weaver with DHI Mortgage! Congratulations, Denise! Thank you for promoting our programs and using them to make buying a home more affordable for your customers.

AHFA's Leading Lender for FY19 | Denise Weaver, DHI Mortgage | Click to expand
Thank you to all the lenders recognized as Leading Lenders in FY19! (click to expand individual pictures)


Yvonne Swanson, Tuscaloosa

Yvonne Swanson moved back to her hometown of Tuscaloosa in May 2013 after retiring. She rented a house near a neighborhood of homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa.

"Prior to becoming a Habitat homeowner, Yvonne lived just down the street from her new three-bedroom, two-bath Habitat home," said Habitat Tuscaloosa Executive Director, Ellen Potts. "Her old, two-bedroom rental house was poorly sealed, and vermin could get inside. Her rent was nearly double what her Habitat mortgage payment is, and as she moved out, the landlord was about to increase the rent again."

Swanson had never heard of Habitat for Humanity, but she was intrigued by the houses she saw being constructed in the neighborhood, so she applied for a home of her own.

Foreclosure prevention

click to expand

HHA Success Story

Barry and Rhonda Meredith, Hueytown

After many years of working with AT&T, Barry Meredith was laid off. That's when he and his wife Rhonda heard about Hardest Hit Alabama (HHA). They contacted HHA and were approved for mortgage payment assistance.

The Merediths share what HHA assistance meant to them and how it allowed them to keep their home.

Rental Programs

click to expand

Multifamily Success Story

Hidden Hills Trace, Phenix City

Newly constructed Hidden Hills Trace is the Phenix City Housing Authority's first phase in the redevelopment of its World War II-era Riverview Apartments housing complex.

Financed in part by $1.1 million in AHFA-administered Housing Credits, the development is part of the Phenix City Housing Authority's decision to replace their aging housing stock. The new properties have modern amenities such as central heat and air, wood flooring, sizable kitchens with dishwashers, washer-dryer hookups, and convenient parking.

Resident Sindy Lorvanis and her two children, Hannah and Isaac, relocated from Riverview to Hidden Hills Trace. She talks about what she enjoys most about Hidden Hills Trace, the periods of homelessness her family experienced before moving to Phenix City, and how affordable housing has changed their lives.

2019 Manager of the Year

Tony Petersen, manager of Annie Lee Gardens in Arab

Tony Petersen oversees the daily operations of Annie Lee Gardens' 40 affordable housing units. His nomination package, compiled by Olympia Management, included letters from residents, coworkers, and service agencies praising Petersen’s character and reputation.

Olympia Division Manager Misha Lewis wrote, “Tony is a caring manager who maintains a positive relationship with his tenants. Tony regularly checks on his tenants to ask them if they have any needs that he can assist them with. Tony takes pride in keeping the curb appeal of his property looking great. He encourages the tenants to have flowers and hanging plants. He always has his property well landscaped, which encourages prospective tenants to want to live there.”

Minutes after receiving his award during the Alabama Affordable Housing Association’s conference, Petersen said, “It’s fantastic. Just the recommendation was enough for me. The people I surround myself with make me who I am.”

ServiSolutions MOrtgage Servicing

click to expand


The Alabama Housing Finance Authority is a public corporation and instrumentality of the State of Alabama created July 25, 1980, by Act No. 80-565 of the Alabama Legislature.

The bonds of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority are not obligations of the State of Alabama and are not repaid with tax dollars. AHFA is a self-sustaining organization which pays all operating expenses from program revenues.

We thank our employees for their dedication and exemplary service to help realize AHFA’s mission of bringing affordable housing to Alabamians.