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New Program Launches to Help Hawai‘i Educators Buy Homes

April 30, 2019, 4:04 PM HST (Updated April 30, 2019, 4:04 PM)
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The Hawai‘i Executive Conference (HEC) reports that they have partnered with Landed, a down payment assistance and homebuyer education program aimed at helping teachers and school employees afford to buy homes, to bring new homeownership options to K-12 educators across Hawai‘i.

The program provides half of the down payment on a home, up to $120,000 per family, in exchange for a portion of the change in the value of the home when the home is sold. Any gains from this assistance will be re-invested to support an ever-growing number of educators. Landed’s down payment support will be available to all teachers, administrators, and staff who have worked for a Hawaii public school for at least two years.

The partnership is a result of leaders from the Hawai’i Executive Conference adopting Hawai’i Community Foundation’s CHANGE Framework, committing to collaborate to help address some of Hawai’i’s most pressing issues.

“As the cost of housing in Hawai‘i continues to rise, too many of our educators are finding it harder to afford homes and we have to find a way to allow them to live in the communities that they serve,” said Duane Kurisu, chairman of the Hawai’i Executive Conference and aio founder. “Challenges like these can only be tackled together and we’re privileged that leaders from HEC have collaborated to help our educators.”

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“We need to explore innovative solutions to address our housing crisis for educators and others,” said Jack Wong, co-chair of HEC’s CHANGE Education Committee and CEO of Kamehameha Schools. “HCF’s CHANGE Framework is giving the HEC committees the opportunity to look beyond our respective leadership roles. We’re coming together to create a shared vision for Hawai’i so that our people and place have the opportunity to thrive for generations to come.”

“It is exciting to see leaders across the state coming together to work with the Department on enhancing our recruitment and retention efforts by providing these types of resources,” said Dr. Christina Kishimoto, superintendent of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. “It is a testament to what can be done when businesses rally around our students and educators and offer solutions. I look forward to continuing to explore these types of opportunities with partners like the Hawai’i Executive Conference.”

Since its founding in 2015, Landed has already helped nearly 200 educators purchase homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Denver, and Seattle. This expansion to Hawai’i is Landed’s first statewide launch. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which helped connect Landed with community partners in Hawai’i, is an investor in Landed’s housing funds.

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“We are thrilled to bring Landed’s homebuying resources to Hawai’i and look forward to connecting directly with educators and their families across every island,” said Landed Co-Founder Alex Lofton. “As the son of a school teacher and a social worker in the Seattle area, I know firsthand the struggles that many families go through to build financial security in expensive communities. Landed hopes to be a support system to help all educators feel more secure in their financial future.”

Interested homebuyers can use this program in conjunction with a mortgage from any of Landed’s partner lenders: First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, American Savings Bank, and Central Pacific Bank. First Hawaiian Bank will be offering a discount to borrowers who apply through the Landed Program.

Nonprofit HUD housing counseling agency, Hawaiian Community Assets, will be on-the-ground available to assist teachers with free homebuyer education, pre-purchase counseling, matching grants, and loans for credit building and debt consolidation – all to get teachers mortgage qualified.

Interested educators can get more information and apply beginning Tuesday, April 30, 2019, online.

A series of informational sessions for faculty and staff to learn more about the program will be held across all major islands the week of May 13-17. Interested educators can RSVP for the info sessions online.

  • May 13 – Kaua‘i: 4 to 5 p.m., Kaua‘i High School, Details Here
  • May 14 – Honolulu: 4 to 5 p.m., Farrington High School, Details Here
  • May 14 – Windward O‘ahu: 4 to 5 p.m., Castle High School, Details Here
  • May 15 – Central O‘ahu: 4 to 5 p.m., Mililani High School, Details Here
  • May 15 – Leeward O‘ahu: 4 to 5 p.m., Kapolei High School, Details Here
  • May 16 – Maui: 4 to 5 p.m., Maui High School, Details Here
  • May 17 – Kona: 4 to 5 p.m., Konawaena High School, Details Here
  • May 17 – Hilo: 4 to 5 p.m., Waiakea High School, Details Here
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