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What is the Community Advantage Program Study?
The Community Advantage Program Study (CAP Study), launched in 1999, examines data collected since 2003 from homeowners who received mortgages through the Community Advantage Program (CAP), a path-breaking mortgage initiative of Self-Help, the Ford Foundation, and Fannie Mae that funded more than $4 billion of home loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers.

Who are the borrowers in the Community Advantage Program?
The CAP portfolio focuses broadly on low- and moderate-income and minority homebuyers.

What is unique about the data?
These data profile low- and moderate-income and minority borrowers, a population that is often understudied due to a lack of data. The survey data include not only data on financial health and mortgage borrowing, but also respondent experiences with family formation, physical and mental health, connections to neighborhood and community, and more. And although 70 percent of CAP borrowers are located in the South, CAP loans were made in more than 40 states, making it a nationwide program. Furthermore, the data were collected during a period of housing market volatility, which makes the data particularly rich for researchers seeking to understand how borrowers weather periods of economic uncertainty.

What types of research questions have been examined using CAP data?
The Center for Community Capital has been examining these data for over ten years to study both the housing market broadly and mortgage lending specifically. We have published two books to date, including Regaining the Dream (2011), a book that examines the housing market during the Great Recession, and A Place Called Home (2017), which examines the non-financial benefits of homeownership.

How can I get access to the data?
There are two ways to obtain CAP data. Tier 1 Data, available to the general public, are now accessible via the Carolina Digital Repository. Tier 1 consists of de-identified data for the Community Advantage Panel Survey (CAPS). Tier 2 Data are available to researchers via a collaborative data sharing protocol. If you are interested in these data, please fill out this data request Letter of Interest. Available Tier 2 data include additional information, including matched local area data (e.g, American Community Survey aggregated data), created variables (e.g., net worth), survey weights, and administrative origination and performance data for the larger CAP portfolio.

What is the structure of the survey data?
In general, there are two data sets per year of the survey, one for each sample (owners and renters). More information may be found in our 2017 paper.

Are the survey codebooks and questionnaires available?
These are available through the Carolina Digital Repository.

Why can’t I open the files in SAS? Why do I keep getting an error message?
Please enable the NOFMTERR option when using SAS. This should fix the issue.

What if I don’t have a budget for my research project?
We understand! We want our data to be shared broadly with researchers and are willing to provide guidance to researchers submitting grant proposals. If this applies to you, please describe your interest in pursuing grant funding to support your project in your letter of interest.