Home » Programs » Home Purchasing

The Cleveland Foundation will be pausing [its] contribution to Greater Circle Living while they assess the program and its 15-year impact on Greater University Circle neighborhoods. The Cleveland Foundation will use the assessment to inform and support the reimagination of the program and Working Household's fund. Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation will continue providing technical assistance throughout the calendar year.

Home Buyer Education/Financial Counseling ALTERNATIVES

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following community partners are currently providing alternatives to the in-person, courses for both Home Buyer Education (HBE) and Financial Counseling.

Currently Available are

Virtual Platform – Home Buyer Education (HBE) and Financial Counseling

ESOP (Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People

Elizabeth Sanchez, Homeownership Manager
11890 Fairhill Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44120
Office: (216) 373-1823
Fax: (216) 361-0920
(NO FEES for these courses)

Online Platform – Home Buyer Education (HBE) (offered by various HUD-approved providers for a fee) and Over-the-phone Platform – Financial Counseling

CHN Housing Partners

Morgan Shorts, Homeownership and Financial Capabilities Counselor
2999 Payne Avenue, 3rd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
Office: (216) 230-8515
Fax: (216) 574-7130
(NO FEES for the counseling only)


  • Employee must meet eligibility requirements (please see employer website or contact his/her benefits/human resources department for a definition of an eligible employee). Each employer has different eligibility requirements.
  • Employee must occupy the home that is purchased (for at least 270 days a year) and the purchased home must be used as a primary residence by the purchasing employee. Vacation homes, second homes are NOT permitted.
  • If the employee re-finances the first mortgage loan before the 5 year term of the GCL loan has expired then the employee must repay the unforgiven balance of the GCL loan.
  • Home purchased cannot be a gift.
  • All homebuyers must complete an 8-hour, HUD-approved homebuyer education/budget counseling class provided by or approved by FRDC.
  • This program can only be used once.
  • The program can only be used by one family member per household.
  • The employee must provide at least 3% of the total purchase price toward the home purchase.
  • Participating employees who do not comply fully with the rules for eligibility or participation will be required to repay in whole or in part the loan.

Program funds are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis upon approval of complete application, which includes all required documentation and funding availability.


  • Home must be located in the designated GCL Target Area. View the GCL Map .
  • Single or two-family units and condominiums/townhomes are permitted. Multi family (three units or more) properties are NOT permitted.
  • Home must meet existing city code requirements.
  • If existing homes requiring rehabilitation are purchased sums must be set aside at the loan closing in amounts sufficient to complete those renovations necessary in order to meet code requirements. Renovation must be completed in 12 months of loan close.
  • The purchase price of the home must not exceed the fair market value of the property.
  • The employee must present a purchase agreement for the home and proof of insurance for the property.
  • Must use lender that accepts secondary community financing. Primary financing cannot be FHA or UA.
  • Under special circumstances – including when lenders do not accept secondary community financing – or when FHA or VA financing is used, the benefit amount can be used for permanent upgrades and improvements to the purchased home.

Greater Circle Living funds may not be used to assist in the purchase of a property that was constructed or rehabilitated without proper permits.


The GCL loan is a five-year loan that bears no interest. The GCL loan may only be used for down-payment, closing costs or mortgage points associated with the purchase of a primary residence in the designated area. As long as an employee remains employed at the qualified employer in the designated area, and continues to occupy the purchased property as a primary residence, a portion of the original principal amount will be forgiven annually on the anniversary of the loan closing date as described.

  • 12 Months (Elapsed after Loan Funding) 20% 20%
  • 24 Months (Elapsed after Loan Funding) 40% 40%
  • 36 Months (Elapsed after Loan Funding) 60% 60%
  • 48 Months (Elapsed after Loan Funding) 80% 80%
  • 60 Months (Elapsed after Loan Funding) 100% 100%

Events that trigger non-forgiveness: (any one of these events will trigger repayment in full)

  1. ) Selling, refinancing or vacating of the home prior to the end of the GCL loan period.
  2. ) If the employee no longer occupies the property as his/her primary residence.
  3. ) The employee ceases to be an eligible employee as defined by their employer.
  4. ) The making of any inaccurate, false or misleading statements in connection with obtaining the GCL loan.

If the sale or transfer of the home, ceasing to occupy the home or termination of eligible employment occurs prior to the anniversary date, the employee will not receive forgiveness in that year. Please note that a lien will be placed on the property until the full amount of the loan is forgiven.

To see some of the available properties in your neighborhood of interest, click the button and type in the name of the neighborhood in the search bar.


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Check employer eligibility requirements via employer website or HR/Benefits department.


Complete Inquiry Form (online, in person, or print and fax completed form to 216-361-8407).


Complete approved homebuyer education course, and submit certificate of completion to GCL.


Obtain pre-approval from lender.

* Cannot be FHA or VA loan to receive GCL down payment assistance funds


Look for a new home within GCL boundary via community development corporations, realtors, and other sources.


Execute purchase agreement.


Apply for GCL Funds by returning the completed application and supporting documents to GCL and receive conditional approval after internal review and employment verification.


Obtain GCL Home Inspection conducted by our Construction Analyst to determine any health and safety repairs, scope of work, and provide cost estimate


Apply for Primary Loan with bank/lender.

*Cannot be FHA or VA loan to receive GCL Down payment assistance funds


Notify GCL Administrator of Primary Loan Approval via letter from lending institution and receive GCL approval.


Close Primary Loan (mortgage loan for permanent financing) and GCL Loan.


NEW CONSTRUCTION HOUSING PRODUCT – If purchasing a new construction home, buyer has one year from date of executing purchase agreement to close on mortgage loan and GCL loan dollars.

*GCL funds cannot be used with FHA or VA loans for down payment assistance. However, GCL funds, in conjunction with FHA or VA loans, may potentially be used for Home Upgrade/Improvement. Please call for details.



If you have any questions or concerns you may contact,
the Program Coordinator.

Sheetal Tuteja (Program Administrator) | Phone: (216)361-8400


If you prefer to contact us by email, visit our Contact Us Page and complete the form.

Contact Us Page


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Location PinPhone:

Phone IconAddress:
8111 Quincy Avenue, Suite 100
Cleveland, Ohio 44104

Clock IconHours of Operation:
Mon - Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed

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