Northwestern Regional Housing Authority (NRHA) has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency since 1985. The two major components of the comprehensive counseling program are Homeownership Counseling and Rental Counseling.
Housing Counseling is offered in the areas of Homebuyer Education, Pre-Purchase, Post-Purchase-Non-Delinquency and Reverse Mortgage. We do not charge for any counseling service.
Offered in group sessions, the Homebuyer Education class gives a brief overview of all aspects of the purchase process from the determination of readiness for homeownership to the closing of the home purchase. The agenda includes readiness for homeownership, building or repairing credit, home selection, choosing and applying for a home mortgage, and closing the purchase. Also included is information concerning Fair Housing Regulations, Truth In Lending, the Real Estate Settlement Act, the importance of home inspections, advantaged financing products for first-time homebuyers, and who's who in the purchase process.
The purpose of the group session is to acquaint prospective homebuyers with the entire purchase process. Those attending are given insight into possible obstacles for which they need counseling assistance. Following the group session, individual families are encouraged to make appointments with one of our four counselors who provide Pre-Purchase counseling on an individual basis. This workshop satisfies requirements toward first-time homebuyers certificate required by some advantaged products.
Through individual counseling, prospective homebuyers are provided assistance according to their specific need. For some families, pre-purchase counseling may be as simple as guiding them through the process of the home purchase; for others it may be a lengthy process of assistance in preparation for homeownership. Whether the need is for help with credit issues, information concerning mortgage products available for first-time homebuyers, or for better understanding of the purchase process, our counselors are available to assist. Our philosophy is that better preparation for homeownership lessens the chance of future problems related to the purchase.
NRHA works closely with local lenders, FHA, USDA Rural Development, and North Carolina Housing Finance Agency in our efforts to educate consumers to available mortgage products which might be suitable for them.
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option
As an aid in making homeownership more affordable for lower income families, NRHA operates the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option. Families who become well prepared for homeownership but who lack sufficient financial resources may qualify for Section 8 assistance with their monthly mortgage payment.
Strict eligibility requirements govern this program and include both income qualification and demonstrated readiness for the responsibilities which are inherent with ownership, along with credit worthiness as a qualified borrower.
First-Time Homeownership Developments
Periodically, NHE, Inc. develops, builds, and offers homes for sale to lower income families. Since NRHA was founded in 1979, four such communities have been offered. The first was a self-help, sweat equity project through which 93 families were able to gain equity through participation in the construction of their own and their neighbor's homes. Three homeownership communities have been developed since 2000, which has resulted in 49 lower income families purchasing their first home. These communities were made possible through a coordination of efforts by NRHA and Northwestern Housing Enterprises, Inc.; grant funding from NC Department of Commerce and US Dept. of HUD; and layered financing made available by North Carolina Housing Finance Agency; Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, and USDA Rural Development. The most recent development, The Oaks, is located in Jefferson, Ashe County, with seven remaining lots available for eligible families to consider.
Post-Purchase, Non-Delinquency Counseling
Homeowners, particularly those for whom homeownership is a new experience, may encounter a number of ownership issues for which they need advice or assistance. Our counselors can provide guidance for a variety of issues, including methods of reducing energy costs, more efficient family budgeting, and referrals to available community resources. Our counselors are available to assist in making the homeownership experience a success.
NC Foreclosure Prevention
The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund helps North Carolina homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage due to job loss or other temporary financial hardships, such as divorce, illness or death of a co-borrower. The fund also assists returning veterans transitioning to civilian life. If you qualify, the Fund can pay up to $36,000 towards your mortgage and related expenses for up to 36 months while you search for work or complete job training. If you are re-employed but earning less so you are still struggling to pay your mortgage, the Fund may still be able to help by reducing your principal loan balance so that your monthly payments are more affordable.
NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund portal will be closed effective 7/31/2019.
Funds for this program are limited. The last day for application submission to North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is July 31, 2019, so act quickly.
Reverse Mortgage Counseling
Many aging homeowners find themselves in need of additional funds for a variety of reasons. A reverse mortgage may be an appropriate answer to the need. A reverse mortgage is not appropriate for everyone, however. Before completing an application for a reverse mortgage, all homeowners are required to have counseling provided by a HECM Certified Counselor. North Carolina residents are required to have face to face counseling in order to obtain a reverse mortgage.
What is a Reverse Mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is a loan secured by home equity. To be eligible, you must be a least 62 years of age and either have no debt against the home or be able to pay off any existing lien at closing of the reverse mortgage. The counseling session is required in an effort to ensure that all applicants thoroughly understand how the mortgage works and requirements to remain in compliance with the loan. The reverse mortgage will not require any repayment as long as a homeowner occupies the home, maintains the home in good condition, and pays property taxes and homeowner's insurance as required. The debt is settled by heirs after the death of the homeowner either by utilizing proceeds from the sale of the home or by refinancing, or utilizing other resources. The mortgage is designed in a manner to avoid any personal cost to property heirs.