Triple Border
Quarterly Newsletter

Oct 2010

In This Issue
HCA Wins 3-Year Grant to Serve Homeless Families
HCA Annual Housing Luncheon
HCA/HCL Helps Families Buy and Keep Homes
Matsuoka and Kahoonei Promoted
Call Us ~ We Can Help Prevent Foreclosure
Organizational Capacity Grows
New Youth Matched Savings Program Launches
Family Financial Education Initiative Builds Momentum
Quick Links
2010 Homebuyer
Workshop Schedule

All workshops are free to attend

Kapolei Hale Ponoi
8:30a - 5p
  • Dec 11th

Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center
8:30a - 5p
  • TBA

Big Island

Hilo - Hawaii County Office Building
8:30a - 5p
  • Oct 9th
  • Dec 4th
Kona - Neighborhood Place
8:30a - 5p
  • TBA

Kauai County Building - includes orientation and 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p
  • Oct 10th, 20th, 21st
  • Nov 10th, 17th, 18th
  • Dec 6th, 8th, 9th

For more information or to register for a workshop in your community contact HCA at (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116.
Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) offers this quarterly newsletter to provide you with updated information on current programs and services.

HCA's 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.

HCA programs include:
  • Homebuyer Education and Pre-Purchase Counseling
  • Post-Purchase Education and Counseling
  • Foreclosure Prevention and Loan Modification Services
  • Youth Financial Education
  • Homebuyer and Youth IDAs
  • Tax Preparation Services
  • Mortgage Financing
  • Loan Packaging

HCA Wins Three Year Grant Award to Provide Financial Education in Homeless Transitional Shelters on Oahu's Leeward Coast

WAIANAE, HI - Local nonprofit, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), received a three year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) in the amount of $808,187. As a result of the award, HCA will provide financial/renter education and counseling to homeless individuals and families residing in transitional shelters on Oahu's Leeward Coast. The organization's goal is to increase the rate of successful transition among families seeking permanent housing.

Funding secured through ANA will support the delivery of HCA's programs within three partnering transitional shelters that include Kumuhonua, Ulu Ke Kukui, and Ohana Ola O Kahumana. Over the next three years, HCA will provide a minimum of 300 families in transition with culturally-relevant financial literacy/renter education, credit counseling, and access to asset building programs.


"After 10 years of providing financial and homebuyer education programs to increase the homeownership rate among Hawaii residents, we have a heightened awareness of the need to address our communities' broader housing needs," says HCA Executive Director, Michelle Kauhane. "In an economy that puts so many families at-risk of homelessness due to loss of jobs or decreasing income, we are expanding our programs to meet the needs of families with the most critical need for permanent housing." Receipt of the funding will also create three new jobs within the organization, according to Kauhane.


Taking a comprehensive approach to community-based education, HCA will engage families who have transitioned from homelessness to shelters in identifying solutions and policy priorities to increase access to affordable housing. HCA will also provide training and direct assistance to partnering shelters' staff in delivering financial literacy/renter education services to ensure sustainability of program activities beyond the project period.


"Our ultimate goal is to work hand-in-hand with our homeless families and partner organizations to develop a scalable financial literacy/renter education program and build a movement that ensures permanent, affordable housing for future generations," continues Kauhane.


The project expands HCA's larger Statewide Family Financial Education Initiative, which was kicked off in April 2010 in collaboration with 40 community-based organizations and has since generated over $21,000 to serve Hawaii families and youth with free, culturally-relevant financial education services.


HCA is a Native Hawaiian non-profit organization with a mission to build the capacity of low and moderate income communities to achieve and sustain economic self sufficiency. HCA delivers comprehensive asset building programs to achieve its mission while meeting community needs to build, strengthen and sustain family financial stability for future generations.


ANA was established under the Native American Programs Act of 1974 (NAPA) and provides discretionary and competitive grant funding to assist in the planning, development, and implementation of short-term community-based projects (averaging one to three years) that result in social and economic benefits supporting healthy children, families and communities. The mission of ANA is to promote the goal of self-sufficiency and cultural preservation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Native Pacific Islanders organizations.

HCA to Honor Families at 2010 Annual Housing Luncheon

Luncheon Band
Mr. Brown, homeowner who received assistance through HCA,  performs at 2008 Luncheon

Come join us at HCA's 2010 Annual Housing Luncheon on October 13, 2010 from 12:30pm - 1:45pm at the Hawaii Convention Center.

We will honor our partner families, present the Native Hawaiian Housing Award, and reflect on the significant milestones achieved throughout t he year.

This year  HCA celebrates 10 years of service to community! We will gather our partners,  stakeholders, families, and friends around the mission of HCA to celebrate the success of families who have realized the dream of homeownership and inspire those on the journey.

The Honorable Senator Colleen Hanabusa will deliver the keynote address.  Senator Hanabusa is president of the Hawaii State Senate and the first woman to hold this position in the Hawaii legislature.  Senator Hanabusa has dedicated herself to public service as a labor attorney, community organizer, and leader in the Hawaii State Senate.  Born and raised in Waianae, she has been a champion for Native Hawaiian Issues.

We hope you are able to join us for this special event. Don't miss the opportunity to gather with community to share the ono food, inspiring success stories, and the beautiful Hawaiian music by Holunape.

To register for the event or for more information about how your organization or business can sponsor the luncheon, please call HCA Operation Manager, Rona Kahoonei at 808-587-7886 or via email at

HCA 2010 Annual Housing Luncheon
Sponsorships Available

HCA currently has sponsorships available for individuals, organizations, and businesses for its 2010 Annual Housing Luncheon.

Contribute $1,000 today and get recognized at
HCA's luncheon in front of 500+ attendees, receive a 10-seat table at the luncheon, and meet the families who have walked hand-in-hand with HCA/HCL over the last year to realize the dream of home ownership!

To become a sponsor or for more information contact HCA Operations Manager, Rona Kahoonei at 587-7650 or via email at

Extraordinary Progress in Today's Trying Times


HONOLULU, HI - Through its comprehensive approach to asset building and retention through home ownership, HCA, and its nonprofit lending arm, Hawaii Community Lending (HCL), set record-breaking totals in Fiscal Year 2009-2010 in the number of  families who secured mortgage loans and loan modifications through the organization.

Over the last year, HCL provided $23.5 million in mortgage loan origination; an increase of more than 300% from last year's production.  66% of the loans were made to first-time home buyers and 99% were provided to families on Hawaiian Home Lands.

HCA/HCL By the NumbersAt the same time, through the organization's statewide Call Us ~ We Can Help Prevent Foreclosure Campaign HCA received 459 calls through its call center and coordinated 259 counseling sessions, while its team of Community Services Spec ialists secured 121 loan modifications for families at-risk of experiencing foreclosure.

"It is never enough to help families realize the dream of home ownership; we have to fight just as hard for our families to keep them," says HCA Deputy Director, Laura Matsuoka.  "The foreclosure crisis was an awakening for all of us and for HCA/HCL, it has resulted in us taking a more holistic approach to home ownership that teams asset building with asset retention strategies including pre- and post-purchase financial education, individual development accounts, and foreclosure prevention counseling services."

Annually, HCA serves approximately 1000 families through home buyer workshops and individualized credit and foreclosure prevention counseling, while
net revenue generated through HCL supports HCA's home buyer and financial education services throughout the state of Hawaii.

HCA's Matsuoka Promoted to Deputy Director; Kahoonei to Operations Manager

HONOLULU, HI - As HCA's capacity grows to provide financial education and access to mortgage financing to families statewide, the organization has promoted Laura Matsuoka to Deputy Director and Rona Kahoonei to Operations Manager.

Laura  Ms. Matsuoka (pictured left) joined HCA in 2007 as Operations Manager responsible
  for oversight and administration of the organization's home ownership education and
  counseling programs.  Under Matsuoka the number of families receiving financial
  education training and individualized counseling annually has nearly doubled to a
  point where HCA is consistently serving over 1000 families per year.  As Deputy
  Director, Ms. Matsuoka will work with the Executive Director and Board to develop
  and implement organizational policies, procedures, and programs necessary to fulfill
  its mission of building the capacity of low and moderate income communities to
 achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.

RonaMs. Kahoonei (pictured right) was hired on as Administrative Assistant for HCA in 2005.  Since joining the organization she has been instrumental in managing multiple Federal, State, Municipal, and private grants and contracts which has resulted in moving HCA from its grassroots beginnings to its place as a full fledged statewide service  provider.  Assuming her new position as Operations Manager, Ms. Kahoonei will ensure the organization's effectiveness by providing leadership of HCA's financial functions and human resources.

Are you or is someone you know
at-risk of experiencing foreclosure?


Foreclosure Sign    (808) 587-7886

           Free Help With:
           * Loan modifications
           * Work out plans 
           * Reducing payments
           * Lowering interest rates

Growing Our Organizational Capacity

HONOLULU, HI - In September HCA transitioned its AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) member, Hallie Bennett into a full-time position with the organization.

Hallie Ms. Bennett (pictured left) served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with HCA over the last year assisting with the organization's foreclosure prevention program.  Her work included monitoring the organization's statewide call center, conducting family intakes, developing program materials, tracking Hawaii foreclosure trends, and mobilizing program resources.  Bennett transitioned into a full-time Community Services Specialist position after receiving certification for pre-purchase housing and foreclosure prevention counseling through NeighborWorks America in August.  She will continue to work out of HCA's Honolulu office assisting families interested in buying and renting homes.

Desiree VeaMs. Vea (pictured right) joined HCA in October to assist with the development of organization's new renter education program and curriculum with families in transitional housing on Oahu's leeward coast.  Before coming to HCA, she served in AmeriCorps with the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps as a youth team leader and later as a fund development specialist with the organization's Kupu Program.  Born and raised on Kauai, Ms. Vea graduated with an International Studies degree from Wells College in upstate New York.  Now living in Waianae with her aunt she will split her time working at partner transitional shelters and HCA's Honolulu office.


 Sonja picHONOLULU, HI - After a record breaking year in total loan volume, Hawaii Community Lending (HCL) welcomes two new loan officers, Sonja Gonzaga and Jon Arbles.  Gonzaga and Arbles will assist in providing families with access to mortgage capital with a focus on addressing the unique needs of homestead communities across the state. 

 Ms. Gonzaga (pictured right) comes to HCL with 7 years experience in the  industry.  Having worked for Desert Valley Mortgage in Las Vegas and Fidelity National Title Insurance Company as a sales representative on Oahu's leeward coast, she brings with her a wealth of knowledge in escrow, marketing, and mortgage lending.  Born and raised on Oahu, Gonzaga will be working from HCL's Honolulu office.

Jon Arbles pic

r. Arbles (pictured left) has 7 years experience in mortgage lending and will represent HCL on Hawaii Island.  Having grown up in Hilo, he recently returned home from Seattle, WA where he graduated from Seattle University and later served as branch manager for Washington Mutual and Chase Bank.  Prior to joining HCL, Arbles served Hawaii Island residents as manager of Hawaii Federal State Federal Credit Union.

Ms. Gonzaga and Mr. Arbles will be assisting families in upcoming Hawaiian Homestead projects including Laiopua Village 5 on Hawaii Island and Kumuhao in Waimanalo.


For more information or to get a loan through HCL please call (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116.


Hawaii Community Lending is the mortgage program of Hawaiian Community Assets and is dedicated to assisting families achieve and sustain homeownership.  HCL provides loan origination and packaging services statewide both on and off Hawaiian Home Lands.  Net proceeds earned go back into the community to directly support financial and homebuyer education programs.

HCA Expands Youth Program with Matched Savings for Hawaii Island Youth

Youth MATCH ProgramHILO, HI - HCA secured funds from Hawaii County Department of Research and Development in August to serve 150 Hawaii Island youth, ages 13-24, with free, culturally-appropriate financial education over the next year.  The funds allowed HCA to conduct 2 train-the-trainer sessions on island  for service providers, teachers, and individuals interested in starting youth financial education programs using Kahua Waiwai, Opio Edition©, purchase curriculum for distribution to trained trainers, and launch a new matched savings program for youth.

The 2-day train-the-trainer sessions took place in Hilo and Kona and provided an overview of the Kahua Waiwai curriculum, sample teaching activities, local job/career training resources, and basics of program development and evaluation.  The sessions  were attended by staff and teachers from Salvation Army, YWCA-Hawaii Island, Hale Kipa, Kamehameha Schools, Mauna Loa School, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center, Catholic Charities, Ocean View Organization, and Laiopua 2020 Homestead.

"Hawaii Island has taken a leadership role among our statewide partners in implementing youth financial education programs using  Kahua Waiwai," says HCA Program Coordinator, Jeff Gilbreath noting over half of the existing Kahua Waiwai Opio Collaborative partner organizations are found on Hawaii Island.   "The level of commitment and drive our Hawaii Island trainers possess for bringing this crucial, life skills education to their youth is inspiring."

With additional Hawaii County funds, HCA has launched a pilot matched savings program in partnership with HOPE Hawaii Services, Inc (formerly Office for Social Ministry), Panaewa Hawaiian Homelands Community Association, and Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center in Kona.  The program will provide 20 youth participants with a 3:1 match on savings up to $100.  During enrollment in the program,  participants will be equipped with age-appropriate and culturally-relevant financial education training, establish a long-term savings goal, commit themselves to 30 hours of volunteer service in their community, and apply a cost-benefit analysis that measures impacts of the savings goal on themselves, their family, community, and the natural environment, now and in the future.

"Hawaii County's willingness to support innovative projects like our Youth MATCH (Managing Assets to Change Hawaii) program provides a unique opportunity to show how a comprehensive approach to family asset building, which combines culturally-relevant, age-appropriate financial education training with community organizing and matched savings opportunities, allows our communities to take the lead in strengthening the money management skills and asset wealth of rising generations," concludes Gilbreath.

For more information about HCA's youth financial education program, contact Program Coordinator, Jeff Gilbreath at 587.7653 or via email at

Statewide Family Financial Education Initiative Builds Momentum

Kekaha Construction Complete

HCA, in partnership with 40 organization partners implementing and/or supporting community-based financial education across the islands, launched a statewide Family Financial Education Initiative in April 2010.  To-date the initiative has raised over $21,000 through donations, grants, and contracts with proceeds going toward direct costs of providing free financial education workshops and counseling to youth and families over the next year.

Now we're asking YOU to join in the initiative to build, strengthen, and sustain foundations of wealth for our youth, families, and communities throughout Hawaii.

5 easy ways to support family financial education:

  1. Celebrate our families and communities with HCA at its Annual Luncheon!  If you would like join us as a sponsor and/or attendee at our Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, October 13, 12pm, please contact HCA Operations Manager Rona Kahoonei at 587-7650 or via email at  Food and entertainment provided.
  2. Visit Hawaiian Way Fund at Just Give.  Designate HCA in the space available and make a gift in your name.
  3. Through Aloha United Way.  Go to the Aloha United Way website and use donor choice #73931.  Note support for HCA on the donor form.
  4. By Mail.  Send your donation with checks made payable to: Hawaiian Community Assets, Family Financial Education Initiative, 1050 Queen St #201, Honolulu, HI 96814.
  5. Share this email with friends, family, and co-workers.  If you or someone you know is in need of free foreclosure prevention and financial education services, please call (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116.