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

CPLP assistance is structured as a 0% 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 1st Home Advantage Down Payment or the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit as well as with other down payment assistance loans or grants.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency allocates funds to support the CPLP program on an annual basis. For 2021, the Agency has budgeted $10 million to assist CPLP eligible home buyers. These funds are available after January 1, 2021. 

Eligible Home Buyers:

  • Total household income cannot exceed 80% 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% and Total Debt-to-Income ratio may not exceed 43%.
  • 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 one-on-one pre-purchase counseling before they can be approved for assistance.

Most borrowers complete an in-person or virtual home buyer education class offered by the CPLP member. 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. 

However, borrowers can also complete an approved, online course like eHome America, which is based on NeighborWorks America’s acclaimed “Realizing the American Dream” and takes an estimated six to eight hours to complete. The course is also HUD-approved, exceeds the National Industry Standards for Home Ownership Education and Counseling and is available in Spanish.  

Taking an online course may be more convenient for some borrowers, especially those who have been pre-qualified or pre-approved for an NC Home Advantage Mortgage™ by a participating lender and want to submit their application for CPLP assistance as soon as possible.

The Agency is offering eHome America at a special price of $35 for potential CPLP borrowers. After completing the course, the borrower will receive a Certificate of Completion.  

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Please note that all CPLP borrowers must also complete at least two hours of one-on-one pre-purchase counseling provided by the CPLP member. 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.

Borrowers should contact a CPLP member to discuss their home buyer education and counseling options.  

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 the Agency 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 and 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 Rich Lee, senior community partner coordinator, 919-877-5688.

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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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