Getting 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.

Core courses:

  • NC Housing Finance Agency’s “Financing Dreams” course (4 hour CE)
  • GRI ABCs of Financing (8 hours), or
  • Local Housing Programs and Resources. For example, downpayment assistance programs offered by local cities or counties. (minimum 2 or more hours)

Are you having a hard time finding a local program or housing class?  Check out this list of 2016 HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies by clicking on our state on the yellow map.

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 Electives:

  • NAR’s Employer Assisted Housing Program
  • NAR’s Expanding Housing Opportunities
  • NAR’s Green Course
  • Freddie Mac’s Credit Smart online course (4 hours)
  • Selling HUD Homes
  • 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
  • GRI ABCs of Financing (8 hours)
  • Sustainable Housing and Green Building (NCREC Approved CE)
  • Foreclosures, Short Sales, REO’s and Auctions (NCREC Approved CE)
  • Understanding the Mortgage Industry (NCREC CE)

To see where the three NCREC approved courses are being taught, search for each course in the NCREC’s Continuing Education Course Search feature.

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 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 Certification Form, a summary of courses taken and your class certificates of completion, and email them to Nicole Arnold 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 by attending 4 hours of education in community programs, affordable loan programs, or core/elective classes listed, andparticipating in an affordable housing event.Get started on your certification today to reap benefits tomorrow!