Home Ownership Opportunities


Appointments Preferred

Home Ownership Opportunities


Homeownership through the USDA 502 Direct Loan Program:

Direct Purchase is an alternative to new construction. With the direct purchase option clients are able to purchase an existing home through the assistance of a realtor. An additional benefit of the direct purchase program may include down payment assistance.

Smoky Mountain Housing Partnership serves all of North Carolina through this program:


Rural Home Loans (Section 502 Loan Program)

Assists low- and very-low-income applicants to obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment  ability. Payment assistance is a type of subsidy that reduces the mortgage payment for a short time. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income.

Financing Benefits:

  • Interest rate below market rate and 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

Micro Home Communities

The SMHP, in collaboration with Western Carolina University (WCU), will be developing a national model for micro-home community development for the communities of our Smoky Mountains.  

Western Carolina University’s School of Art and Design, Interior Design, and Social Work programs will be assisting SMHP in creating a unique micro-home model that will incorporate the latest concepts in WELL-Certified Design Standards

The Social Work Community & Organization Practices course students at WCU will be breaking into four teams to conduct a needs assessment of the population that will occupy the micro-homes SMHP will be building. The students will be targeting demographics such as elderly, homeless, veterans, and single-parent families. Their research will prove to be an invaluable insight into the quality of life of these individuals and families. The study will be used to gain an understanding of what the population’s disadvantages are, such as unique challenges, social status, and each demographics’ unique needs. The students will then analyze their research and present their data and recommendations to be incorporated into the design features of this project.

The Junior Studio II course a the WCU School of Art & Design will work in tandem with the Social Work students implementing their research findings by creating design concepts that will utilize a holistic approach. They will create floor plans, specifications of materials needed, rendered views, and present them to the Smoky Mountain Housing Partnership later in the semester. Junior Studio II students will be encouraged to use sustainable building practices. This particular project will focus on features such as the orientation of the buildings to capture daylighting, passive solar, and address seasonal opportunities for shade, while also incorporating accessibility, aging in place, mobility, environmental, and well-being standards.

The opportunity for Western Carolina University students to work with the SMHP is a win-win situation. Students will be facing real issues and gaining valuable life experience in the field, all the while seeing they have a lasting impact. SMHP benefits by having floor plans and designs built around the concepts of WELL building standards and cutting edge research.

The micro-home community will consist of 8 to 15 micro-homes of 300 to 600 square feet in size that will be interconnected by walkways clustered around a community garden and community gathering area.  The micro-homes will be highly energy-efficient and contain full kitchens, washers and dryers, separate bedrooms, and living areas for residents.

Self-Help Housing

Through SMHP’s Self-Help housing program, we help families and individuals achieve their dream of homeownership. With the help of the participants “sweat equity”, these homes are affordable and attainable.   

What is Self-Help Housing?

Through this program, qualifying participants work within a small group of 4-6 families to help each other build their homes under the leadership of a construction supervisor. By the families working together cooperatively to build their homes, they earn “sweat equity” and reduce construction costs.

Do I need construction experience to apply?

No, you do not need to have any prior construction experience to be eligible for this program — just a willingness to learn and work with a construction supervisor.

Who provides the financing for the land, materials, fees, etc.?

The USDA provides payment assistance and low-interest rates to low-income families that would otherwise not be able to secure a home loan.

Financing Benefits of the Self-Help Housing Program are:

  • Below-Market Interest Rates
  • Payment is Based on Adjusted Annual Income
  • No Downpayment Required
  • Most Closing Costs can be Financed in the Loan
  • Interest and Mortgage Payments are Deferred During Construction
  • Payment deferral of a borrower’s requirement of monthly payments for up to 2 years due to hardship situations such as job loss or medical illness.


Who can qualify for the Self-Help Program?

In general, you may qualify for this program if:

  • Have stable income.
  • Ability and willingness to meet the labor requirements.
  • Have the legal capacity to incur a loan.
  • Agree to occupy the residence as your primary home.
  • You are not barred from any other federal programs.
  • You are unable to obtain a loan from any other source.
  • Meet Household Income Limit.

Workforce Housing

SMHP owns land off of Jonathan Creek in Maggie Valley suitable for building 40 or so homes for the workers of Haywood and Jackson counties.  Stay tuned to this page for updates on when we break ground, pour foundations and complete the homes.  All homes will be listed on this website as they become available for purchase. 

Down Payment Assistance

Down Payment Assistance is  offered through the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA). It is a deferred payment, non-forgivable mortgage with 0% interest rate that can increase your purchase power or reduce your first mortgage amount making your monthly payment even more affordable.

Smoky Mountain Housing Partnership serves the following North Carolina counties through this program:

Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford, Swain,Yancey