A self-supporting agency, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency sells bonds, administers tax credit programs and uses state and federal funds to produce affordable housing in partnership with local governments, nonprofit housing producers and for-profit developers. The financing is used to build rental apartments and homes, to finance affordable home mortgages, to rehabilitate rental and owner-occupied housing, to provide rent subsidies and to assist home buyers.
Use the links below to navigate to the federal and state resources that finance affordable housing in North Carolina.
Mortgage Revenue Bond Program
HOME Investment Partnerships Program
Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
Workforce Housing Loan Program
North Carolina Housing Trust Fund
Hardest Hit Fund®
Homeowner Assistance Fund
The NC Housing Finance Agency finances mortgages and down payment assistance for first-time and move-up buyers by selling government-insured or Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac-incurred mortgage-backed securities.
The Agency sells tax-exempt Mortgage Revenue Bonds and uses the proceeds to finance mortgages and down payment assistance for first-time home buyers and military veterans with low and moderate incomes. The Agency also converts part of its bond authority into Mortgage Credit Certificates, which provide a federal tax credit for qualified first-time home buyers and military veterans.
The Agency administers the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program for the state. Congress created this block grant program in 1990 to provide states and localities with a flexible funding source to meet their diverse housing needs. States receive 40 percent of total HOME funding, and localities receive 60% directly from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) based on a formula determining need.
The Agency uses HOME funds to finance housing for low-income people, including down payment assistance, construction of homes and apartments, rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes and rental assistance. The Agency uses HOME funds for Community Partners Loan Pool Program, Single Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool Program, and Rental Production Program.
Authorized by Congress in 1987, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (Housing Credits) now finance virtually all the new affordable rental housing being built in the United States. Housing Credit rental properties are privately owned and privately managed. In exchange for the financing provided through the tax credit, owners agree to keep rents affordable for a period of 15 to 30 years for families and individuals with incomes at or below 60% of the local median income.
The Agency operates the state's Housing Credit Program as staff to the Tax Reform Allocation Committee, which consists of the Secretary of Commerce, State Treasurer and State Budget Officer. The Agency prepares an annual plan for allocating the credits (the Qualified Allocation Plan or QAP), evaluates applications for the tax credits and makes recommendations to the Committee. The Committee awards the credits. The Agency monitors the rental properties for the compliance period to ensure that they meet federal program requirements, as required by the Internal Revenue Service.
The owners are eligible to take a tax credit equal to 9% of the “Qualified Cost” of building or rehabilitating the property (excluding land). The tax credit is available each year for 10 years, as long as the property continues to operate in compliance with program regulations.
Generally, the privilege of using the credit is sold to an investor or group of investors (syndicated) and the proceeds are used to provide equity in the new rental development.
Equity from the sale of tax credits reduces the amount of debt financing that the property owner incurs. This reduces the monthly debt service for the property, lowers the operating costs, and makes it economically feasible to operate the property at below-market rents. Residents are responsible for their own rent payments, unless rent subsidies are available from other programs.
North Carolina's Housing Credit Program is highly competitive. The NC Housing Finance Agency receives three or four applications for every one that is awarded credits.
The Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP) is a non-recurring appropriation created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2014 to encourage the development of Housing Credit apartments with deeper income targeting. WHLP is administered by the Agency in combination with federal Housing Credits. Developers who are awarded WHLP funds receive the funds as a 30-year deferred payment loan at 0% interest for a percentage of the rental property’s development cost. The maximum loan amounts set by statute are based on the county income designations.
No separate application is needed for WHLP. A development becomes eligible for WHLP funds once the Agency has approved an application for federal Housing Credits. If a development does not receive federal credits, it cannot receive WHLP funds. See the Qualified Allocation Plan for loan criteria and other program information.
The Agency administers the Housing Trust Fund. The Trust Fund was created by the General Assembly in 1987 using $19.8 million from a legal settlement the state received due to oil company overcharges. It is funded through annual appropriations. The North Carolina Housing Partnership provides oversight, sets policy and allocates funds for the Trust Fund.
The Trust Fund is the state’s most flexible housing resource—able to finance home ownership and rental apartments, new construction, rehab and emergency repairs. It provides the state’s largest source of funds to finance supportive housing and emergency repairs/accessibility modifications. The Trust Fund has won three national awards for its innovative programs.
The Hardest Hit Fund was developed by the US Department of the Treasury under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to help states stabilize housing markets and prevent foreclosure. In 2010, 18 states and the District of Columbia were selected to receive money from Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund® for foreclosure prevention. North Carolina was selected because of the large percentage of the population living in counties with high unemployment rates in 2009—25 percent of North Carolinians were living in counties with unemployment rates of 12% or greater.
Under the Hardest Hit Fund, the Agency created and managed the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, which helped North Carolina homeowners who were struggling to make their mortgage payments due to job loss, reduction in income or temporary financial hardship, such as divorce, illness or death of a spouse. The Fund also assisted returning veterans who were transitioning to civilian jobs. The NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund closed on July 31, 2019, after assisting nearly 30,000 North Carolinians.
The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is a federal program to help households who are behind on their mortgages and other housing-related expenses due to the impacts of COVID-19. The HAF program is overseen by the U.S. Treasury Department and administered by the states and territories. HAF was established through the 2021 American Rescue Plan to prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults, displacements and foreclosures for homeowners experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic. States will administer a total of $9.961 billion, subject to Treasury Department guidance available on the HAF program website.
North Carolina was allocated $273 million. The NC Homeowner Assistance Fund (NCHAF) is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number HAF0019 awarded to the State of North Carolina by the US Department of the Treasury. The Agency is operating the program through funding provided by the NC Pandemic Recovery Office.