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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 purchase 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, which offers up to $2,000 per year in federal tax savings with a Mortgage Credit Certificate, 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 20 percent to 32 percent and Total Debt-to-Income ratio may not exceed 43 percent.
  • Borrower must complete at least 8 hours of home buyer education and counseling. The actual amount of counseling and education needed will vary based on the readiness of the borrower(s).
  • 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 at least 8 hours of home buyer education and counseling before their application can be submitted for consideration.

Most borrowers complete an 8-hour, in-person home buyer education class or series of classes offered by the CPLP member or a partner agency. Borrowers also receive housing counseling to assess their readiness for buying a home. Items reviewed include household budget and credit history as well as any questions the borrower(s) may have.

The Agency provides another option for borrowers, Homebuyer Express, an online pre-purchase 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 who cannot easily attend a class in person. Before a potential borrower starts Homebuyer Express, they should talk with a CPLP member to ensure they are eligible for assistance and that completing an online education course is part of their home ownership readiness plan. Please note that borrowers completing Homebuyer Express must still complete additional hours of in-person education and counseling provided by a CPLP member or a partner agency. 

The cost for taking Homebuyer Express is $50; however, the Agency will provide a 30 percent discount to prospective CPLP borrowers. 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. 

Eligible Homes:

  • Newly constructed house or an existing home in “like new” condition (generally less than 10 years old). In addition, an older home that has been comprehensively evaluated and rehabilitated may be eligible for purchase with CPLP funds.
  • 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.

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 NCHFA pays the CPLP Member a service fee of $1,600 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 $4,500 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.

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 represent a partnership between several organizations including 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, community partner coordinator, 919-877-5688.