Self- Help Housing

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The Self-Help program is Housing Assistance's most affordable homeownership program which helps families whose income is below 80% of the area median income. In program, participants save money and earn "sweat equity" toward their new home by completing 65% of the labor. Self-Help brings together a group of four to six qualifying families to work cooperatively to build their homes under the guidance of a construction supervisor. Using this "sweat equity" method, homeowners reduce construction costs and build immediate equity in their homes. All homes are financed with low-interest Rural Development 502 Direct Mortgages, which further improves the homes' affordability. No construction experience is required. Our construction supervisor will assist you through the process. 

New Homes

The New Homes program is an alternative to the Self-Help program. It offers the same attractive, quality homes at affordable prices with minimal or no sweat equity required. Financing for New Homes combines a Rural Development 502 Direct Loan with a second mortgage that can be up to 10%  of your loan amount. The second mortgage through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) is a deferred payment, non-forgivable loan with zero percent interest. The NCHFA financing creates a more affordable home purchase. For example, if the purchase prices of a New Homes house is $175,000 you could use a $17,500 NCHFA second mortgage and would then only have to qualify and make payments on a $157,500 Rural Development loan. As a New Homes participant, you will be required to contribute at least $1,000 of your own funds.

Down Payment Assistance

Down Payment Assistance can fill the cash gap between the amount of your first mortgage and the total cost to purchase a home. While these loan funds can be used for down payment, they can also be used to cover closing costs or to simply increase your purchasing power. If you are interested in this program, please contact our housing counselor for current applications and forms. You must meet income, employment, debt, and personal credit requirements in order to be eligible for down payment assistance.


Financing with a 502 Direct Loan

The Section 502 Direct Loan assists low and very low income (AMI) applicants in eligible rural areas like Henderson County to qualify for a mortgage loan. Interest rates are based on your income and can be as low as 1%. This loan may be used to build a Self-Help home or purchase a New Homes home. If you are interested in purchasing an existing home, this loan can also be used- our housing counselor can assist you with this option as well. 

  • The terms of the RD 502 Direct Loan include: 
    • Fixed Interest Rate.
    • 33- year payback period (Up to 38 years for very low income applicants who cannot afford the 33 year loan term). 
    • No down payment required.
    • Closing costs can be included in the loan amount.
    • Subsidized loan monthly mortgage payments based on your income and family size.
  • Applicants qualifying for the RD 502 Direct loan must:
    • Have an annual gross income (before taxes) that must not exceed 80% of the County's Rural Development income limits. 
    • Meet loan requirements regarding income, employment, debt, and personal credit. 
    • Agree to occupy the property as a primary residence.
    • Have the legal capacity to incur a loan obligation.
    • Meet citizenship or eligible noncitizen requirements.
    • Not be suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs.

What are the 502 direct loan benefits?

  • Interest rate below market rate (3.25%).
  • Interest rate when modified by payment assistance, can be as low as 1%.
  • Payment is based on income and adjusted annually.
  • Repayment period is 33 years.
  • No down payment is required.
  • Most closing costs can be financed into the loan.
  • Interest and mortgage payments are deferred during construction. 
  • Moratorium- Suspends the borrower's requirement of making monthly payments for up to a 2 year period due to hardship situations (lose job, medical illness, injury, etc..) 

If interested in applying or need more information please call the Housing Assistance Corporation at 828-692-4744 and ask to speak with a Housing Counselor. You can also fill out the Home Ownership Pre-Qualification Form below and return it to us at 602 Kanuga Rd. Hendersonville, N.C. 28739.

Please be aware that there is a $16.00 fee for the credit check, this payment should be received at the time the application is turned in. We can only accept cash or checks. 


Additional Questions? Get in touch!

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