A partnership between the state and the N.C. Housing Coalition has resulted in 47 first-time homebuyers becoming homeowners in 11 counties of the state through the Homeownership Assistance Program. Of those 47 homeowners, 18 are the first in their families to own a home of their own. The program, funded by the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) using $3.2 million in state-allocated HUD funds, has provided down payment and closing cost assistance to make owning a home possible for eligible first-time and first-generation homebuyers.
For many families, the stability that comes with owning their own home will benefit multiple generations. Clifton Owens II, a program participant living in Fayetteville, combined households with his mother. “I felt like I was in a dream. I was amazed at how much they helped. They covered the $30,000 down payment and closing costs,” shared Owens. “I’m the first-generation homebuyer in my family. I feel so proud. I actually have something that belongs to me.”
Since the launch of the program in November 2022, federal long-term disaster recovery funding has been used to assist eligible homebuyers with up to $30,000 in down payment costs and up to 5% in closing costs. Homebuyer education and counseling are also required as part of the Homeownership Assistance Program. Though intake of new applications was paused in April, fully completed applications already submitted prior to the deadline are still being processed and many more closings are anticipated over the next nine months.
“Increasing homeownership for residents in vulnerable and storm-impacted communities is critical to NCORR’s mission of building back communities in a smarter and stronger way,” said Tracey Colores, community development director at NCORR. The program is committed to serving low- to medium-income households in 16 counties federally designated by HUD as most impacted and distressed (MID) by hurricanes Matthew and Florence. For a list of the counties, see the online map.
So far, North Carolina families in these 11 counties have received assistance with owning a home: