Alabama Housing Finance Authority Commits More Than $100 Million in Relief to State's Most Vulnerable Homeowners
October 19, 2022
AHFA's highly successful Mortgage Assistance Alabama (MAA) program has exceeded its goals, receiving enough applications to fully commit its $100.5 million allocation from the U.S. Treasury to help low- and moderate-income Alabamians keep their homes. Alabama is one of the first seven states and U.S. territories to achieve this program milestone.
MAA was designed to prevent foreclosure by providing financial help with past due or delinquent mortgage expenses, future mortgage payment assistance or lien extinguishment for low- to moderate-income Alabamians who experienced temporary, COVID-19 related financial hardship. MAA is part of the U.S. Treasury’s Homeowner Assistance Fund, a mortgage foreclosure prevention program funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Since the program opened in August 2021, 2,808 households in 65 of 67 Alabama counties have received $64.5 million in disbursed or pledged assistance and have avoided foreclosure. An additional 2,030 applications are being processed and will exhaust the remaining $36 million in available Treasury funding.
“We are not accepting further applications at this time, because the number of applications we can accept based on funds made available by the U.S. Treasury has been met,” said Carrie Hamaker, single-family administrator for the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.
All applications submitted are subject to funding availability, which is very limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Assistance amounts are calculated based on information verified and confirmed by each applicant’s mortgage servicer.
“MAA is helping those it was intended to reach,” said Hamaker. “In fact, Alabama’s program has been so successful that it has been recognized by the U.S. Treasury for its ‘best practices’ to provide guidance to other states.”
Other notable program highlights to date:
All MAA recipients have been offered free housing counseling services through the United Way Housing Counseling Alliance and employment opportunities through Alabama Industrial Development Training in an effort to prevent future financial hardship.
Of the 2,808 approved applicants to date, 95 percent earn less than the median income in their area.
About 79 percent of recipients to date identify as non-white, with 17.8 percent identifying as white and 2.91 percent choosing not to reveal their racial status.
More than 72 percent of participating homeowners to date are employed, retired or disabled. Another 18 percent chose not to reveal their employment status.
Alabamians who applied prior to portal closing should know their applications are being reviewed and processed as quickly as possible and they will be notified as soon as a decision is made. In the meantime, they will be contacted by email with updates and requests for additional information that may be needed to complete their applications.
Individuals with applications in process can check their status by logging into their accounts on MortgageAssistanceAL.com. The MAA Call Center can also be reached at 888-460-9977 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
“Research shows that homeownership is a key factor contributing to economic and emotional stability in Alabama households and communities,” said Hamaker. “Despite ongoing challenges of the pandemic for Alabama homeowners, MAA has been an extremely effective tool in keeping our state’s financially challenged households in their own homes.”