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How To Get Certified

In order to be certified as a Workforce Housing Specialist, participants must complete 16 hours of education within the past 18 months. Core classes must total 8 or more hours to qualify. The core courses include:


NC Housing Finance Agency’s “Financing Dreams” course (4 hour CE)
Federal Housing Programs - FHA, USDA, etc. (minimum 2 or more hours), or
Local Housing Programs and Resources. For example, downpayment assistance programs offered by local cities or counties. (minimum 2 or more hours)


A variety of elective courses are available to attain the remaining hours needed to earn the certification. Combined with the minimum of 8 hours of required "core classes," elective classes may be for a total of 8 additional hours.


Qualifying Elective Courses Include:

NAR's Employer Assisted Housing Program
NAR's Expanding Housing Opportunities
NAR's Green Course
Freddie Mac's Credit Smart
REBAC's Short Sales and Foreclosures
CRS 111: Short Sales and Foreclosures: Protecting Your Clients Interests
FHA 203(k) and Energy Efficient Mortgages
USDA Housing Programs
Sustainable Housing and Green Building (NCREC Approved CE)
Foreclosures, Short Sales, REO's and Auctions (NCREC Approved&CE)
Selling HUD Homes
Understanding the Mortgage Industry (NCREC CE)


Alternative Track
Members have the option of attaining their WHS certification through a similar program offered by the Charlotte Regional REALTOR Association's Housing Opportunity Foundation. Participants in this alternative program must complete four workshops and attend the Annual Workforce Housing Event within two years to earn the Workforce Housing Specialist certification. The four required tracks are:


Creative Lending Programs for Workforce Housing
Employer-Assisted Housing
Foreclosure Prevention
Working with Housing Nonprofits


The WHS program is currently being offered in partnership with REALTOR associations in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh and Wilmington.


Once you've taken classes, contact Homes4NC via fax at 336-299-7872 or email Nicole Arnold at, to request certification.


You May Already Have Credit
If you’ve taken any of the core or elective courses within 6 months of starting this program, or have taken something similar in content to the above listed courses, you may be able to count the credit hours towards your WHS Certification. To request acceptance of your credit hours, simply complete a Previous Credit Request Form, include a summary of courses taken and your class certificates of completion.  Fax them to Nicole Arnold at Homes4NC at 336-299-7872, or email Nicole at


Annual Recertification
In order for graduates to remain updated on workforce housing resources and issues, they will be required to recertify by Dec. 31 of the year following their certification and annually thereafter.  Specialists must do the following:


  • Complete 4 hours of education in a core course or an approved elective, and 
  • Invest at least 4 hours in the planning of or in participation at an affordable housing event.

If you have questions about this process, please contact Nicole Arnold at or 336-294-1415.


Get started on your certification today to reap benefits tomorrow!