Grant to Help Launch Affordable Housing FundSeptember 30, 2019, 10:14 AM HST (Updated September 30, 2019, 10:14 AM)
Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), a nonprofit organization, has been awarded a community grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to launch the Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Fund.
The grant award will total $515,886 and run from Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, 2021. Funding will allow HCA to serve 500 Native Hawaiians with renter and homebuyer education and financial counseling.
Five Native Hawaiian nonprofits or communities will also receive technical assistance to improve their capacity to build or preserve affordable homes. HCA’s community lending subsidiary Hawai‘i Community Lending will administer match savings accounts for first month’s rent/deposit or down payment/closing costs and down payment assistance loans. Match savings grants and down payment assistance loans will be available starting January 2020.
HCA is Hawaiʻi’s largest housing counseling agency certified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Founded in 2000, its mission is to build the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.
In its 19-year history, HCA has provided free financial education and counseling to more than 19,000 individuals from across the state. Together, HCA and HCL have assisted underserved communities in accessing $148 million for affordable housing and economic opportunities. Overall, 6,011 children and adults have successfully secured or sustained housing as a result of their household receiving services and products from HCA and HCL.
“[HCA and HCL] have come together to create a Fund that invests in our people and the innovative housing solutions we need to break the back of our affordability crisis,” said HASC presenter and HCA/HCL Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath. “The Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Fund will bring education, grants and loans to households and communities who are impacted the most by the housing crisis so they can afford to live, work and raise families at home, in the islands.”
The Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Fund will pool public and private grant and debt capital for match savings accounts and loans to assist all low- and moderate-income households and communities to build, preserve and access 5,000 affordable homes by 2026. The OHA grant award will match more than $1 million in secured grants and loans to kick start the Fund on Oct. 1st. HCA and HCL are actively negotiating investments into the Fund with a goal to secure an additional $4 million from public and private sources in the next three years, for a total of $5 million.
“We mahalo OHA for their award and continued investment in housing that is truly affordable for Native Hawaiians,” Gilbreath continued. “It is the seed that will allow the Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Fund to grow into a sustainable, revolving loan fund able to serve the community in perpetuity. We look forward to the partnership with OHA and the community so we can assist more children and adults secure affordable homes.”
For more information about the Hawaiʻi Affordable Housing Fund contact Gilbreath at 808-587-7653 or by email at [email protected].
This project is sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, working to improve the lives of Native Hawaiians.