What Is CHAP?

CHAP is the Cranberry Homes Assistance Program which was started summer 2022 by Cranberry Isles Realty Trust (CIRT) to assist year-round, working families come up with a required down-payment necessary to purchase a year-round house on Great Cranberry Island or Islesford.

Why does CIRT want to help? Because we want to increase the number of affordable, year-round housing opportunities on the islands, so that working families can afford to live here.

How can the CHAP program help me? Eligible individuals or families who need help making their down-payment can potentially get a CHAP loan from CIRT. CHAP loans are interest-free, so there are never any interest payments to make, and the loan only has to be repaid if the house is sold in the future or if its ownership changes, such as inheritance or divorce.

The CHAP loan can be up to a maximum of $50,000 or 80% of the total down payment, whichever is less. Please note: CHAP’s available funds may be limited at the time you apply, so check in as soon as possible.

The maximum purchase price for a house to be eligible for CHAP assistance loan is $339,200 in 2022. (Calculated as 2.5 x 160% of the annual family median income in Maine, as set by US Department Housing and Development (HUD). This state’s median income is adjusted each year.)

In return for this no-interest loan, the buyer agrees to have CIRT’s permanent Covenants recorded on the property. These Covenants require that the home will always be lived in year-round, and will always be reasonably affordable for future working families.

Some of the key provisions of the Covenants which the buyer agrees to:

  • They will live in the house as their full-time, year-round residence (11 months minimum). They will not rent any of it out without CIRT’s prior approval.
  • CIRT will have a Right of First Refusal if the owner ever decides to sell the property.
  • They will only sell it to another family or individual who will live in it year-round, and only at a price that CIRT determines is reasonably affordable at that time for a working family. CIRT has a formula for calculation of an affordable resale price (see Can I Resell My House section).
  • At the time of sale, the owner is required to repay their CHAP loan from CIRT with no interest. The repayment helps CIRT to recycle its funds and assist future working families live on the islands.

See the Covenants section of this website for full details on the Covenants.