March 2015





Alabama Home Buyer Initiative Ends Year-Long Run
Program Paid PMI Costs for More Than 1,600 Borrowers

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority is announcing the end of the limited-time Alabama Home Buyer Initiative (AHBI). AHFA allocated allotted funds to more than 1,600 homebuyers, generating approximately $243 million in home sales since the initiative's introduction in March 2014.

AHBI was a mortgage enhancement enacted by the Alabama Legislature, held in the Alabama State Treasury, and administered through AHFA that provided private mortgage insurance (PMI) at no cost to borrowers. AHBI paid the up-front single PMI premium, saving the average homebuyer approximately $150 each month.

"We are pleased the initiative spurred impressive housing activity and home sales, while also generating significant sales taxes, ad valorem taxes and economic stimulus across the state," said AHFA Executive Director Robert Strickland. "We thank the Alabama Legislature, our state Treasurer, Home Builders Association of Alabama and Alabama Association of Realtors, who were instrumental in helping to create this economic stimulus program, as well as all of our participating lenders for making the initiative a great success for Alabama homebuyers."

AHBI was designed to complement AHFA's Step Up mortgage program by eliminating PMI costs for the homebuyer. Although AHBI has come to an end, borrowers can still utilize and benefit from the Step Up program, which offers 30-year, fixed-rate financing and down payment assistance.

AHFA's ServiSolutions Celebrates 10 Years and $3 Billion in Loans

On March 1, ServiSolutions, the mortgage servicing department of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority, celebrated its first decade of home loan servicing and exceeding $3 billion in total loan volume. AHFA Executive Director Robert Strickland said, "The growth of ServiSolutions, and as a result AHFA, continues to be an extraordinary journey."

Consolidations in the banking industry in late 2004 threatened to move the servicing of AHFA home loans to offices outside Alabama. AHFA's Board of Directors saw an opportunity to create an avenue with which to serve the state's homebuyers and ensure their mortgage servicing stayed within the state, while also preserving jobs for Alabama citizens. That avenue was AHFA's servicing department, now known as ServiSolutions. On March 1, 2005, ServiSolutions opened with 12,000 loans worth $750 million.

In 2010, at the request of the state's banking industry, AHFA's servicing department responded to provide a mortgage servicing alternative for banks facing new mandatory requirements to escrow for taxes and insurance on many of the mortgage loans they service. "Community bankers across the state were concerned that, because of regulatory requirements, they would have to give up home financing," said Strickland. "In addition to the banks losing an entire segment of business, many Alabamians would no longer have a source of funding for homeownership. We had to find a solution. 

"BankServ enables Alabama banks to focus on their relationships with new and prospective mortgage customers while ensuring, through ServiSolutions, that compliance and general servicing issues are appropriately managed on a daily basis," said Strickland. "As AHFA is not a banking institution, we do not compete for banks' customers. Participating banks are able to address their customers' needs without the threat of potential cross selling."

In addition to servicing mortgage loans in several other states, ServiSolutions has now become Alabama's largest in-state mortgage loan servicer, proudly providing home loan servicing solutions to the state's citizens.

Multifamily Funding Applications Accepted in March


AHFA's multifamily staff accepted 45 requests for HOME Investment Partnerships and Housing Credit program funding during the March 17-19 application cycle.


AHFA will now begin the process of reviewing the applications, point-scoring and conducting site visits.

Continue to watch for news and updates relating to the 2015 application cycle at AHFA.com.

FHLBank Atlanta to Host Webinars for Potential AHP Applicants in April & May

FHLBank Atlanta's 2015 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) Competitive will award up to $500,000 per project in real estate equity to the Bank's member financial institutions and their community housing partners (project sponsors) for the acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, and development of affordable rental and ownership housing. 


Applications will be available beginning June 1, 2015. The deadline for submitting applications and all supporting documentation is July 2, 2015.

 

Join FHLBank Atlanta for a webinar to learn about AHP requirements and important tips for submitting a successful application. They are offering sessions for new project sponsors and experienced sponsors. Find a date below that works for you and follow the link to pre-register.

 

How to be a Successful AHP Applicant Webinar for New Sponsors

How to be a Successful AHP Applicant Webinar for Experienced Sponsors

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NCSHA LegCon panel on the potential for tax reform and how it may affect NCSHA's affordable housing priorities.
AHFA Promotes Programs on the Hill

AHFA staff and board members met March 2-4 with members of Alabama's congressional delegation as part of the National Council of State Housing Agencies' Annual Legislative Conference to thank them for their support and highlight AHFA's accomplishments in each district and across the state.

The event was also an opportunity for representatives from all state housing finance agencies to meet and discuss various affordable housing issues.