Birmingham Field Office Celebrates Homeownership
Bridgett Henderson can remember a time when she and her mother were living in public housing in Jasper, Alabama. Like most of us, she worked hard and wanted the best for herself and her mother, including realizing the American dream of homeownership. Today, with the assistance of HUD�s American Dream Down Payment Initiative (ADDI) program, she and her mother live in their own home in a quiet neighborhood that they love.
Alabama kicked off its National Homeownership Month activities in Jasper with a special program highlighting Ms. Henderson�s story. HUD officials and housing industry partners met on June1, at the Henderson house on North Delaware Avenue. Joining HUD officials in this event were Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey and Alabama State Legislators Ken Guin (D) and Curt Lee (R). Also present were the housing industry partners who made Ms. Henderson�s home purchase possible: Bob Strickland of Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA); Cheryl Allison of West Alabama Bank and Trust (WABT); Wanda Yarbrough of Mortgage America; and, Barbara Smith of Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP).
Alabama�s homeownership rates have been among the highest in the country over the last few years. The state�s homeownership success is due to HUD and its housing industry partners� commitment to invest in underserved communities and work with non-traditional applicants.
Ms. Henderson�s mortgage was through WABT, serviced by Mortgage America and insured by HUD�s FHA program. She received down payment assistance through HUD�s American Dream Downpayment Initiative, administered by Alabama Housing Finance Authority. She received housing counseling from Community Service Programs of West Alabama, which provided pre-purchase and post-purchase assistance to inform her of assistance programs and of the responsibilities of homeownership.
According to Cindy Yarbrough, Field Office Director for the Birmingham Field Office of HUD, �Ms. Henderson�s case provides a good example of an individual using several HUD programs in a synergistic fashion to achieve homeownership. And it is a good example of what can be accomplished by a low income citizen educated on available homeownership assistance programs, and then pursues the steps recommended by the program administrators with passion and determination.�
Cheryl Allison, Vice President of Mortgage Lending for the West Alabama Bank and Trust, was Ms. Henderson�s loan officer. She said, �In the 24 years I have been in the mortgage loan business, the ADDI program is the best down payment assistance program I have found. I have researched many down payment assistance programs and they all end up costing the borrower. ADDI truly helps people to buy homes who would otherwise not qualify for a home purchase. The Alabama Housing Finance Authority has done an excellent job of administering the funds.�
Cynthia W. Burton, Executive Director of Community Service Programs of West Alabama said: �CSP is proud to partner with HUD, Alabama Housing Finance Authority and local financial institutions in the ADDI program. Our certified housing counselors provide Homebuyer Education that AHFA requires of ADDI recipients.�
Barbara Brown, President of Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama, issued this statement: "The Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama supports down payment assistance programs such as the ADDI program which allows first-time homebuyers and low-to-moderate income families to realize the dream of homeownership. Our association is dedicated to providing training to our member companies on these types of programs."
�ADDI is ideal for helping home buyers over the last hurdle to homeownership,� said AHFA Executive Director Robert Strickland. �By making home purchases possible, ADDI is bringing new hope and opportunity to many families across Alabama.�
|Content Archived: July 11, 2011|