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Community Partners Loan Pool

The Community Partners Loan Pool (CPLP) provides qualified home buyers with down payment assistance:

  • Up to 20 percent of the sales price, not to exceed $30,000 (effective May 1, 2018), when combined with a NC Home Advantage Mortgage™
  • Up to 10 percent of the purchase price when combined with a USDA’s Section 502 loan.

CPLP assistance is structured as a 0 percent interest, deferred second mortgage. The term of the CPLP loan matches the term of the first mortgage. The CPLP Loan has no monthly payment and is typically repaid when the home is sold or at the end of the loan term.

Borrowers may combine a CPLP loan with the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit as well as with other down payment assistance loans or grants.

Eligible Home Buyers:

  • Total household income cannot exceed 80 percent of the Area Median Income for the county in which they intend to purchase a home.
  • Borrower must have proof of sufficient, stable income to afford and maintain their potential home.
  • Borrower must have a minimum credit score of 640.
  • Borrower’s housing ratio must be between 25% to 32%t and Total Debt-to-Income ratio may not exceed 43 percent.
  • Borrower must complete an approved home buyer education course and at least two hours of housing counseling. 
  • Potentially eligible borrowers must contact a CPLP Member to establish an agreed upon home ownership readiness plan for education and counseling before signing a sales contract on a property.

Requirement for Home Buyer Education

Home ownership is both a great opportunity and a big responsibility. The NC Housing Finance Agency wants to help individuals and families not just buy a home but to be successful homeowners. That’s why we require every borrower using CPLP funds to complete an approved home buyer education course and receive at least two hours of housing counseling before their application can be submitted for consideration.

Most borrowers complete a home buyer education class or series of classes offered by the CPLP member or a partner agency. Items covered include the pros and cons of home ownership, household budgeting and the importance of credit, working with a lender, various programs to help first-time home buyers and home maintenance. 

An alternative to group classes is Homebuyer Express, a HUD-approved online home buyer education course from Community Ventures Corporation that takes an estimated 4 to 5 hours to complete. Homebuyer Express is based on NeighborWorks America’s acclaimed “Realizing the American Dream” curriculum and exceeds the National Industry Standards for Home Ownership Education and Counseling. 

Taking Homebuyer Express may be more convenient for borrowers including those who have been pre-qualified or pre-approved for a NC Home Advantage Mortgage by a participating lender and want to submit their application for CPLP assistance as soon as possible. 

The cost for taking Homebuyer Express is $50; however, the Agency will provide a 30 percent discount to potential CPLP borrowers so the final cost is $35. Customers interested in Homebuyer Express can click below to learn more and get started.

home buyer express logo

Spanish-speaking consumers can click here for more information. 

NOTE: Borrowers can choose to complete a different HUD-approved online course such as eHome America.

In addition to completing an approved home buyer education course (in-person or online), borrowers must also complete at least two hours of housing counseling provided by the CPLP Member or a partnering agency. The counseling session will include an assessment of the borrower's readiness to become a homeowner and developing an action plan to purchase a home that is affordable.

Eligible Homes:

  • Newly constructed house or an existing home in “like new” condition (i.e. less than 10 years old or with an effective life of 10 years or less). 
  • The sales price cannot exceed the Sales Price Limit for the county.
  • All newly constructed homes must receive a Certificate of Occupancy (less than 12 months old at the time of closing).
  • All existing homes must pass two inspections: (1) a Home Inspection by a licensed NC home inspector; and (2) a Local Housing Code Inspection or in the absence of a local Housing Code, a Housing Quality Standard (HQS) Inspection. Any significant deficiencies identified that threaten the property or borrower must be repaired before assistance can be approved.  Repairs and replacements may be required for the home to be eligible for CPLP.

NOTE: An existing, older home that has been comprehensively rehabilitated and received a Certificate of Occupancy will be treated like a newly constructed home.

Applying for CPLP Assistance:

Interested home buyers must contact a local CPLP Member for further assistance. If the Member determines the borrower is potentially eligible and the home to be purchased meets program guidelines, they will submit an application for CPLP assistance on behalf of the home buyer(s). Please note that NCHFA will only accept applications submitted by a CPLP Member. 

Home buyers(s) must allow enough time (usually more than 60 days) for the CPLP Member to evaluate their readiness to purchase a home, provide home buyer education & counseling, collect documents and review the home inspections.

Finally, potential buyers must contact a CPLP Member to develop a home ownership readiness plan for education and counseling before signing a sales contract on a property.

Member Responsibilities and Fees: 

CPLP Members provide a variety of services including:

  • Verifying home buyer eligibility and that the home to be purchase meets program guidelines.
  • Providing homeownership education and counseling.
  • Collecting and submitting the required CPLP documentation to the Agency on behalf of the borrower.
  • Coordinating the loan closing working with the closing attorney, home buyer and first mortgage lender.

After a successful closing, the Agency pays the CPLP Member a service fee of $2,000 for each CPLP loan for the services provided.

In addition, CPLP members who develop homes certified under SystemVision or other approved Green Building Standards may be eligible to receive the following fees:

  • Up to a $5,000 for meeting SystemVision™ standards for New Homes.
  • Up to a $6,000 for meeting SystemVision™ standards for Existing Homes.
  • Up to a $1,000 for meeting any of the five Agency-approved Green Building standards.

Organizations interested in becoming a CPLP member need to complete a membership application. CPLP Membership is open to North Carolina-based nonprofit organizations and government agencies, local or regional, that develop affordable for-sale homes and/or provide homeownership education and counseling. Members may also partner with a local builder or developer.

For more information on becoming a CPLP member, please contact Josh Burton, team leader for home ownership development, 919-877-5678, or Rich Lee, senior community partner coordinator, 919-877-5688.

Get Started


Looking for more detailed information on CPLP funding options? The CPLP Participation Guidelines may further assist you.

Access CPLP Guidelines


Access the CPLP Membership Application

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