Triple Border
Quarterly Newsletter

Jul 2013 

In This Issue
Nonprofit Developers, Govt Financing Assists Low-Income Families Realize Homeownreship
39 Native Hawaiian Families Secure Affordable Homeownership
HCA's Vea Appointed to Kauai County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
HCA Launches Hawaii Island Financial Capability Initiative
HCA VISTA Project Builds Next Generation of Community Development Specialists
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2013 Homebuyer
Workshop Schedule 

Kahua Waiwai Homebuyer Ed Cover

Workshops are free to attend
Attendees MUST  first submit a completed client intake packet before workshop registraion
Kapolei - DHHL Hale Ponoi
8:30a - 5p 
  • Aug 17th
  • Sept 21st
  • Oct 19th
  • Nov 23rd
  • Dec 21st

Honolulu - HCA Office 

8:30a - 5p

  • TBA 



Wailuku - Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center
8:30a - 5p
  • Aug 17th
  • Sept 28th
  • TBA
  • TBA
Big Island
Hilo - Hawaii County Office 
8:30a - 5p  
  • Aug 3rd
  • Oct 5h
  • Dec 7th



Kauai County Building -

includes 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p 

  • Aug 13th & 15th
  • Sept 24th & 26th
  • Oct 15th & 17th
  • Nov 19th & 21st
  • Dec 17th & 19th


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) is a HUD approved housing counseling agency and Native community lending institution.  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 and products include:  
  • Renter Education and Counseling 
  • Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Education and Counseling
  • Post-Purchase Education and Counseling
  • Foreclosure/Lease Cancellation Prevention Services
  • Youth and Family Financial Education
  • Youth and Renters MATCH Savings
  • Tax and FAFSA Preparation Services
  • Micro-Lending
  • Loan Packaging

Join HCA at the Annual Native Hawaiian Housing Summit



On Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 HUD-approved housing counseling agency and Native community lending institution, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) will host the Annual Native Hawaiian Housing Summit at the Hawaii Convention Center from 8:30a to 12:30p.


The Summit will bring together community leaders, government agencies, financial institutions, developers, and other key stakeholders to celebrate the successes of low-income Hawaii families in realizing the dream of homeownership as well as identify innovative solutions to addressing the diverse housing needs of Native Hawaiians.


As the Summit's host agency, HCA will provide a Year-in-Review highlighting the results of its housing and financial education programs, recognize successes of families served over the last year, and feature the presentation of the annual Native Hawaiian Housing Award. Past recipients of the Award include:

  • 2012: Michelle Kauhane
  • 2011: Poncho's Solar
  • 2010: James Wagele
  • 2009: Bank2
  • 2008: Roger Boyd, HUD ONAP

The Summit will also convene 2 expert panels on Affordable Housing Services and Affordable Housing Development moderated by HCA and the Hawaiian Community Development Board, respectively.


You're Invited! 


To RSVP for the Annual Native Hawaiian Housing Summit contact HCA Office Manager, Rona Kahoonei, at 808.587.7650 or via email at

Revive a Sustainable Path to Homeownership


Report: Nonprofit Developers, Government Financing Increase Access to Homeownership for Low-Income Hawaii Families


Lawrence Denis
Hawaii County homebuyer Lawrence Denis stands out front of his purchased town home in Waikoloa.  Mr. Denis received services from HCA through the Hawaii Family Finance Project to help him become financially qualified for a mortgage.


In its annual Homebuyer Education Program Report released Friday, July 19, 2013, HCA identified that  nonprofit housing developers and government financing programs assisted a total of 25 low-income Hawaii families enrolled in its homebuyer education program purchase homes in 2011 and 2012.


Nonprofit housing developers Hawaii Island Community Development Corporati0n and the Homestead Self-Help Program (Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Build Systems International) were resopnsible for assisting 20 of the families build and purchase homes during the 2-year period, while an overall total of 25 families accessed affordable mortgage financing through the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Development and Veterans Administration programs.


"It is inspiring to see that while our housing market has been is in turmoil, nonprofit developers and government financiers have stepped up and partnered to ensure our low-income families have opportunities to purchase homes," said Jeff Gilbreath, HCA Executive Director.  "If there is the will, these public and private entities have shown us, there is a way."


The Report goes on to identify data from HCA's Homebuyer Education Program, which in 2011 and 2012 enrolled 1249 individuals who graduated from its homebuyer education workshops, assisted 871 individuals review their credit, and assessed 354 households for mortgage financing.  A total of 49 low- and moderate-income families purchased homes during the 2-year period.


"We mahalo our annual sponsors and the Hawaii Family Finance Project for investing in homeownership for our communities most in-need.  It is with their support that HCA is able to provide the services necessary to get families financiallly qualified to become sustainable homeowners," said HCA Board President, Kehaulani Filimoeatu.


The Hawaii Family Finance  (HFFP) is a 3-year, $3.1 million project funded the the US Department of the Treasury, administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, and supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and First Hawaiian Bank offering free homebuyer education, financial counseling, tax preparation services, and grants for down payment, closing costs, and debt reduction to increase the homeownership rates of low- and moderate-income Hawaii families.  Under the HFFP, HCA is contracted as a project provider along with partner HUD housing counseling agency, Hawaii HomeOwnership Center.


For more information or to enroll in HCA's homebuyer education program call (toll-free) 1.866.400.1116 or visit

Revive a Sustainable Path to Homeownership


39 Native Hawaiian Families Secure Affordable Homeownership 


NH Home Purchases 2011-1239 Native Hawaiian families purchased homes through HCA's homebuyer education program in 2011 and 2012 according to the organization's recently released annual Homebuyer Education Program Report.  A total of 228 Native Hawaiians, including 77 parents and 151 children, ages 0-18, were housed as a result of the home purchases.


According to the Report, 100% of Native Hawaiian families purchased homes with an average monthly housing cost at or below 59% of their monthly income, which Federal asset building policy organization, Corporation for Enterprise Development has identified as the average housing cost burden for Hawaii homeowners (Assets and Opportunities Scorecard, 2012).  Housing costs included monthly mortgage loan principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and homeowners association fees.


Other key findings for Native Hawaiians enrolled in the program included:

  • 61% of clients enrolled in HCA's homebuyer education program were Native Hawaiian;
  • 9.7% of Native Hawaiians enrolled in the program were unemployed at intake, and;
  • The average Native Hawaiian family is able to qualify for $185,631 in mortgage finacing with their current income and existing debt.

Click Here to view the full-length Homebuyer Education Program Report.

Revive a Sustainable Path to Homeownership
HCA's Vea Appointed to Kauai County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
DesireeLIHUE - On June 14, 2013 the Kauai County Council approved a resolution creating a 22-member adivsory committee to update the County's affordable housing ordinance.
Among the 22 members appointed to the committee include HCA Program Director, Desiree Lealoha Vea (pictured right), who was born and raised on Kauai and returned to manage the organization's Anahola office from May 2011 through December 2012.  In her capacity at HCA, Vea oversees the organization's HUD-approved housing counseling programs and AmeriCorps VISTA project.  She is certified by NeighborWorks America in Pre- and Post-Purchase Homebuyer Education, Pre-Purchase Homeownership Counseling, and Asset Management Services.
"I am honored to serve on the Committee to help bring forward the perspective of our low-income families on Kauai and to look for bridges between developers and service providers that will increase access to affordable housing," said Vea.
According to Kauai County Councilwoman Joann Yukimura, "one of [the] goals [of the Committee] is permanent affordability" which she claims is not assured in the existing ordinance.  Data from HCA's Homebuyer Education Program Report supports Ms. Yukimura's comments. Low-income Kauai residents enrolled in the organization's homebuyer education program only qualify for $165,450 in mortgage financing with their current income and existing debt, while the median sales price for a single-family home in June ranged from $355,700 in Kapaa to $502,100 in Princeville (, June 1, 2013).  

HCA Kauai Clients only qualify for $165,450

in mortgage financing...


[W]hile the median sales price for a single-family home in June

ranged from $355,700 in Kapaa to $502,100 in Princeville.


"Data suggests the mainstream marketplace is already providing for the housing needs of our median to high median income families," continued Vea.  "Now we have an amazing opportunity to apply best practices in cultural preservation, smart growth, nonprofit and for-profit partnerships, and asset management that will ensure affordable housing is available for our local families earning $20,000 to $80,000 annually."


Currently, the County requires all housing development projects make up to 30% of the development available for affordable housing for Kauai families earning 80-140% Area Median Income (AMI).  Recommendations were made during the July Advisory Committee meeting to cut regulations and requirements on affordable housing development for the Garden Isle.  Community advocates have voiced concerns about such an approach, citing the rising demand for affordable housing among Kauai's very-low and low-income families and the need to update the County's affordable housing definition to be consistent with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's low-income standard which is defined as at or below 80% AMI.

Invest in Our Next Generation
Hawaii County Mayor & Council Team Up to Invest in Hawaii Island Financial Capability Initiative


Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and the Hawaii County Council announced an investment of $14,505 in the Hawaii Island Financial Capability Initiative in July.
Through the Initiative, HCA and its certified Kahua Waiwai Trainers will implement recommendations of President Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability by serving  100 youth and 200 adults residing on Hawaii Island with free, place-based financial education using the organization's Kahua Waiwai: Building a Foundation of Wealth(c) curriculum.  A secondary goal of the Initiative will be to promote broader family and community financial capabilities by assisting local employers develop and implemet financial education programs within the workplace.
HI County Logo"The Initiative will expand financial education to more families and communities on Hawaii Island at a time when we're working toward economic recovery," said HCA Financial Training Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams.  "We mahalo the Council and Mayor Kenoi for their investments in promoting family financial capabilities."
Mayor Kenoi, a member of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition consisting of 12 mayors nationwide, has been a long-time supporter of family financial capabilities having sponsored the County's Children's Savings Initiative and HCA's Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program since taking office in 2009.
As part of the Hawaii Island Financial Capability Initiative, HCA will be providing 2-day Kahua Waiwai Trainer Certification courses for Hawaii Island community-based organizations, businesses, government agencies, and education and financial institutions in September 22-23,
2013.  Cost to attend the Trainer Certification is $65/person and includes access to curriculum, instructor guides, and instructor cd-rom with power point, worksheets, and lesson planning tools.
For more information or to register for an upcoming Kahua Waiwai Trainer Certification course, call Ms. Williams at 587.7660 or via email at

Invest in Our Next Generation


50% of HCA AmeriCorps VISTA Members Secure Employment in Community Development


Since 2009 HCA has recruited 10 AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve through its statwide offices to build its capacity to provide low-income Hawaii residents with financial education, housing counseling, and asset building programs.  Of the 10 members recruited, 50% have gone on to secure employment with community development organizations including HCA, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity.


The AmeriCorps VISTA program is a national volunteer service program run by the Coporation for National and Community Service and founded in 1965 to fight poverty in America.  VISTA members are recruited and trained to serve 1 year at a nonprofit organizations across the country in various initiatives related to health, education, veteran and military families, and economic opportunity.


"The AmeriCorps VISTA Program, in its mission to capacity build, challenges those who serve to think critically as they listen to community and work with the nonporifts they serve.  The Program promotes a variety of skills from trouble-shooting to assessing community need to developing programs that help members be successful in their organizations and in life," said HCA Program Director and VISTA Alumni, Desiree Vea.  "The passion of our VISTAs to continue serving community shows effectiveness of the AmeriCorps VISTA Program in building our next generation of community development specialists."


HCA VISTA members not only have been sucessful in pursuing careers in the community development field, but also were effective if increasing the organization's client enrollment by 27% from Fiscal Year 2011 to Fiscal Year 2012, added Vea.


In 2013-14, HCA will expand its AmeriCorps VISTA program increasing the number of service opportunities available to residents in Hawaii and across the nation to 14.  Incoming VISTA members will serve with HCA or one of its partner organizations across the state for 1 year, working to expand youth financial education and housing counseling services to low-income residents.


VISTA Positions Available!


The 14 AmeriCorps VISTA positions will be available in November 2013.  For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA Program visit the National Service website.  To apply for available positions in Hawaii and across the nation,individuals must complete a profile and apply using the My AmeriCorps website.