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20/20: Clear Vision. Sharp Focus. ALABAMA HOUSING FINANCE AUTHORITY

AHFA's FY20 ANNUAL REPORT

Trying to sum up this year in a letter is a new challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended everyone's state of normal. At the time of this writing, we are all still uncertain when this crisis will pass.

However, we do know that FY20 saw AHFA continue its commitment to our mission. Our clear vision and sharp focus allowed us to make necessary pivots in the midst of the pandemic to ensure we were serving the affordable housing needs of Alabama families.

We continued to offer our homebuying programs to Alabamians when many were being frozen out of the market due to industry-wide higher credit score requirements and larger down payment requirements. Our mortgage servicing division provided temporary forbearance options that more than 7,200 customers have utilized to date. We reopened Hardest Hit Alabama, a foreclosure prevention program funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury, which was winding down. HHA was reopened in the midst of the pandemic to help Alabamians experiencing a job loss or substantial reduction in income keep their home. Lastly, our Multifamily Division, aware of the ever-increasing need for affordable rental housing in light of the pandemic, granted temporary waivers and extensions of certain HOME and Housing Credit requirements to 13 multifamily projects comprising 805 units. In addition, onsite compliance inspections were suspended to protect the safety of residents and onsite staff.

Our FY 20 Annual Report highlights some of the people we were able to help and some of the positive impacts we were able to make, even in the face of uncertain times. It is in these challenging circumstances that state housing finance authorities show they are uniquely positioned to respond quickly to market conditions, bring together avenues of funding, and develop innovative programs and operations to ensure the affordable housing needs of its citizens are met.

Thank you to our hardworking board members and employees, as well as our many vital partners, for helping us keep our vision and focus on the people we serve.

LEADERSHIP

AHFA would like to recognize former board members Ted Watts and Peter Weiss. Watts retired from the AHFA board of directors in December 2019, after 32 years of distinguished and outstanding service. His invaluable contributions and talents helped to increase affordable housing opportunities for Alabamians. Weiss served on the board nearly five years before he passed in November 2019. We are grateful for his valuable service and friendship.
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Raven Peggins, McCalla

While the list of many accolades that Raven Peggins can claim includes honors graduate, UAB Blazers cheerleader, hip-hop dance teacher and nurse, it is move-up homebuyer and two-time Step Up customer that brought AHFA staff to her door in December.

The 26-year-old family nurse practitioner decided to sell her townhouse in Helena and purchase a house in her hometown of McCalla to make the commute to her job at UAB's Kirklin Clinic more convenient.

Peggins used AHFA's Step Up program with her first home purchase in 2016 on the advice of her lender Dolan Williams with First Bank in Birmingham. She was happy to use Step Up again when he recommended it for her new home purchase.

Zachary McCraw, Spanish Fort

School counselor and graduate student Zachary McCraw spent six years living in apartments after he moved to Spanish Fort for a new job. In 2019, he decided that it was time to make the step to becoming a first-time homebuyer.

McCraw credits lender Karen Campbell of FirstBank Mortgage in Fairhope with steering him to a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC), available through AHFA.

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DEVELOPMENTS COMPLETING CONSTRUCTION

Brent Parker, Mobile

AHFA met with Brent Parker, a Navy veteran and resident of Cottage Hill Place in Mobile. Cottage Hill Place, a newly constructed, 80-unit affordable housing development, was financed in part with $912,116 in Housing Credits administered by AHFA.

Parker, a native of Mobile, described life after military service, "After I received an honorable discharge, I moved back home to pursue a degree in computer network administration. I enjoy cooking, designing, and motivating the youth. I am the caretaker for two of my nephews. I strive everyday to make sure that they are equipped and ready to be young adults in this world."

Living in Cottage Hill allows Parker to care for his nephews while he deals with service-related injuries and works to reenter the job market. He said, "The community is a nice, clean, and friendly environment. The staff is phenomenal. Maintenance is always prepared to render services in a timely manner. Also, the community office manager is respectful and willing to assist in any situation surrounding the Cottage Hill Place community. Overall, Cottage Hill Place is a great and inviting place to live!"

Bentley Family, Talladega

Latynda Bentley and her son, Chilton, and daughter, Za’Ajzsa, are new residents at Sunrise Village. They moved to the Talladega area several years ago so Chilton could attend school at the Alabama School for the Blind (ASB).

Last year, their house caught on fire, and they had nowhere to go. Latynda sent her daughter to live with her grandmother while Chilton went to live in the dorms at ASB. Although he liked the experience at first because he got to socialize with friends, he grew homesick and missed living with his mother. So she stepped up her search for a new place to call home and found Sunrise Village.

It’s a unique development that offers specialized services for vision and hearing-impaired residents. Staff at Sunrise Village work with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind to help residents attending their schools get back and forth to campuses. They have also secured an eye-scan reader for residents who are sight-impaired. The machine scans the text from their mail or any other notices and audibly relays the message.

Latynda says, “Chilton has been going to ASB since he was 3 years old, and I don’t trust him going anywhere else because of his eyesight. I want him to stay in that environment and continue to learn how to be independent because they have taught him so much.” She describes finding Sunrise Village as a blessing and shares how happy they all are to be living there.

AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

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.