July 2015

Somerville Apts, Tuscaloosa

The grand opening of Somerville Apartments in Tuscaloosa was held on Friday, July 10, and AHFA was on hand to help celebrate.


Somerville is reserved for persons 55 years of age and older, and features spacious and handicapped accessible two-bedroom and two-bath apartment homes with porch balconies.


The 50-unit development was financed in part by more than $1.03 million in HOME funds and $607,247 in Housing Credits allocated by AHFA.



Income & Sales Price Limits Increase for MCCs

More Alabama families will qualify for AHFA's Mortgage Credit Certificate program, thanks to increases in allowable household income and maximum sales price limits. 

Effective July 22, the maximum sales price in target areas is $316,177 and $258,690 in non-target areas. 

The new income limits, also effective July 22, were released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are based upon the state's median family income, which rose to $55,500.

Home buyers can earn up to $83,250 in urban areas and $77,700 in rural areas, depending on family size and location.

The higher income limits benefit participants in the MCC program, which offers qualified buyers an annual tax credit to reduce the amount of federal taxes owed by a percentage of the mortgage interest paid each year.

By reducing the amount of federal income tax owed, MCCs give potential home buyers more available income to qualify for a mortgage loan. MCC recipients can change their income tax withholdings to reflect the lesser tax amount so that fewer tax dollars are withheld from their regular paychecks, increasing their take-home pay.

MCCs are available with conventional fixed-rate, FHA, VA, Rural Development and privately insured mortgages as well as AHFA's Step Up program.

Multifamily Division Hosts First-Ever Meeting with Environmental Professionals


AHFA's Multifamily Division recently held its first-ever meeting with environmental professionals to discuss environmental reports and their role in the overall process of applying for HOME and Housing Credit funding. Attendees heard a complete overview of AHFA's regulatory responsibilities and environmental report requirements.


After discussing 2015 cycle observations and excerpts of 2015 plans, AHFA staff stated they anticipate making changes to the environmental requirements for 2016, and discussed some of the anticipated changes with attendees.


AHFA asked developers to provide a list of environmental professionals they would like to invite, and twelve attendees from nine different environmental firms were in attendance. AHFA Multifamily Administrator David Young said, "We found the discussion to be very helpful in clarifying several technical points, and there were some useful suggestions offered by attendees in terms of best practices that could be followed." 


AHFA anticipates hosting a similar meeting after the 2016 cycle. 

Unemployed Get Hardest Hit Help

As of the end of the second quarter of 2015, Hardest Hit Alabama has disbursed more than $32.9 million in assistance to more than 4,000 homeowners. The foreclosure prevention program has provided assistance to a homeowner in every county in Alabama.
Hardest Hit Alabama

Hardest Hit Alabama is available to help financially distressed homebuyers prevent foreclosure by making their mortgage payments up to $25,000, providing funds to qualify for a loan modification, or assisting with a short sale of the property.

For more information or to apply for assistance, visit HardestHitAlabama.com.
HUD Releases Final Rule to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing


The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) policy will equip local communities, states, and insular areas with clearer guidelines, new tools and data to meet fair housing obligations established in law. HUD will collaborate with communities and provide stronger tools and technical assistance so they can more effectively incorporate fair housing into their housing and community development planning at the local, regional, and state levels.  

Read HUD's final rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing here: https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/AFFH-Final-Rule.pdf


For formula grantees, the rule will mean replacing the existing Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) with a new Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The key differences are that HUD is providing data and a template for conducting a fair housing analysis, grantees will incorporate fair housing planning into the consolidated plan, and HUD will review assessments up front as part of the planning process. By making these changes, HUD can better partner with its grantees by providing a clearer path to meeting AFFH requirements, easing some of the burden of analysis by providing and packaging relevant data, and integrating fair housing into planning and investment strategies.


HUD will post the rule along with all official guidance and technical materials to the following HUD Exchange website: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/affh/


In the coming weeks and months, HUD will continue to provide guidance and additional resources as well as information about training opportunities for grantees via the HUD Resource Exchange AFFH website. In addition, grantees will be able to pose specific questions through the "Ask A Question" feature on that website.  

Realtor.com Debuts First-Time Buyer Videos


#learnwithliz In new campaign efforts to bring millennials into the home buying pool, Realtor.com is launching a five-part online video series that gives first-time buyers a humorous look at the stages of the purchase cycle. 

The "webisodes" feature Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks and are dubbed "The Home-Buying Process in Plain English with Elizabeth Banks." 

The #LearnwithLiz campaign is part of a larger rebranding strategy by Realtor.com with Banks as their spokesperson in the webisodes as well as television commercials. 

AHFA & ServiSolutions to Close for Labor Day

The AHFA and ServiSolutions offices will be closed Monday, September 7 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. 

We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8.

Please make a note of this date.

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