Triple Border
Quarterly Newsletter

Oct 2013 

In This Issue
Free Lease Cancellation Assistance Available
New Board Members Join HCA
HCA Assists 247 Families Secure or Sustain Housing Since 2011
Sign Up: Kahua Waiwai Financial Trainer Certification
Micro-Loan Program Assists 16 Families Prevent Homelessness
$200k Grant to Fight Poverty & Homelessness
HCA Recruits 5 New AmeriCorps VISTA Members
Quick Links
Mahalo to Our
Annual Partners
Honsador Logo
SIC Logo
Territorial Logo
Gentry Logo
HawaiiUSA Logo 
 Pro Specialty
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 
  • Nov 16th
  • Dec 21st

Honolulu - HCA Office 

8:30a - 5p

  • TBA 




Wailuku - Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center
8:30a - 5p
  • Nov 16th
  • Dec 14th
  • TBA
  • TBA
Big Island
Hilo - Hawaii County Office 
8:30a - 5p  
  • Dec 7th




Kauai County Building -

includes 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p 

  • 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 services and products include:  
  • Youth and Family Financial Education
  • Renter Education and Counseling 
  • Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Education and Counseling
  • Post-Purchase Education and Counseling
  • Foreclosure/Lease Cancellation Prevention Services
  • Tax Preparation Services
  • Training and Technical Assistance
  • MATCH Savings (IDAs)
  • Micro-Loans
  • Loan Packaging

From Homeless to Homeownership: Journey of a Native Hawaiian Veteran


In January 2011, Native Hawaiian Veteran and Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary, Larry Kawaauhau Jr. enrolled in HCA's financial education and rental housing counseling program.  Years prior, Larry had dedicated himself to his country, serving in the United States Army only to come back home to Hawaii with family conflicts and limited employment options.  Faced with this reality, he soon became homeless as he continued to wait for his lease award on Hawaiian Home Lands.
F0rtunately, he was able to secure a room at Honoluu Community Action Program's Kumuhonua Transitional Shelter on Oahu.
"For a long time I was too proud (to ask for help).  Never wanted to ask anyone for help, but finally I had to," shared Larry.
While residing at the shelter, Larry was introdced to HCA's services and started working closely with his dedicated HUD-certified counselor.  At intake, he reported an annual income of $21,600, had $0 in savings, a credit score of 563, and was facing more than $28,000 in debt.  
Showing the same commitment to his finances that he had shown during his service in the army, Larry worked diligently to better his financial situation.  Within 3 months he completed HCA's Kahua Waiwai Financial/Renter Education Workshop series, established an affordable monthly budget, and set a savings goal and action plan to purchase a home.
By September 2011, his hard work was paying off.  Larry had increased his credit score by 73 points and reduced his debt by $5,000!
"It felt good to know I could manage my money and debt," recalled Larry.  "HCA told me that if I kept up the work, I could become a homeowner but that my first step was to secure a rental."
Building on his success, Larry continued with HCA and by January 2013 had secured both full-time employment with the United States Army and rental housing on Hawaii Island.
Determined to realize his dream of homeownership, Larry went on to enroll in HCA's Homebuyer Education Program through its Hawaii Island office.  Together, with his HUD-certified counselor, he set out on the next phase of his journey.  Larry completed a Kahua Waiwai Homebuyer Education Workshop, reviewed his credit report, and was referred by HCA to various affordable mortgage financing options before securing pre-qualification for a USDA 502 mortgage loan.  For participating in HCA's homebuyer education program, he also became eligible for $15,000 in grant funds for down payment assistance from the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement through the Hawaii Family Finance Project.
Using his $15,000 in down payment assistance, Larry closed on his mortgage loan on July 11, 2013.
In 30 months he had successfully moved from homelessness to homeownership, now living in a beautiful fee simple 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home on Hawaii Island (above).
"I feel blessed to be a homeowner.  Thank you HCA for all that you do for the community, Native Hawaiians, and Veterans," finished Larry.

Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation Receives 2013 Native Hawaiian Housing Award


HCA's Board President, Kehaulani Filimoeatu, and Vice President, Sol Kahoohalahala, honored the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation (HICDC) with the Annual Native Hawaiian Housing Award during the Native Hawaiian Housing Summit held in September 2013.

"HCA's Board chose HICDC because of their strong track record and proven commitment to housing our low-income Native Hawaiian families," said Filimoeatu.  "Their success shows us that even in the most trying times, a path to affordable homeownership can be a reality for our people." 
HICDC uses a mutual self-help housing model to work with families who contribute "sweat equity" to build affordable, fee simple homes on Hawaii Island.  HICDC has assisted more than 250 very-low and low-income Hawaii families purchase homes since its inception.
Recognizing the demand for affordable rental housing, in March 2012, HICDC engaged in a broad public-private parntership to break ground on the Mahouli Heights Senior Neighborhood, a new 60-unit affordable senior rental housing project.
In 2013 HICDC and HCA worked in partnership to assist 7 very-low and low-income Native Hawaiian families purchase homes.  In 2014 HICDC will continue with the Mohouli project as well as expand into its next phase of homeownership opportunities in its Hawaiian Paradise Park Development which will open 30 additional affordable homeownership opportunities for very-low and low-income Hawaii families.
Have you or your family received a lease cancellation notice from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands?
Call Us ~ We Can Help
Our HUD-certified housing counselors provide FREE help with:
  • HandsFinancial and Budget Counseling
  • Loan Workout Plans
  • Representation at Contested Case Hearings
  • Communicating with DHHL
  • Preparing Your Successor to Become a Homeowner

New Board Members Join HCA 


At its September 2013 Board meeting, HCA announced the addition of 3 new volunteer members to join its Board.  The new Board members bring with them a wealth of knowledge in the fields of lending, community development, and natural, social, and cultural resource management.


HCA welcomes the following new Board members.


Malia Akutagawa, Member.  Ms. Akutagawa was born and raised on MolokaiShe is an attorney and Assistant Professor of Law with both the William S. Richardson School of Law Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law and the Hawaiinuikea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  She is part of Hui Aina Momona, a consortium of scholars throughout the university community charged with addressing compelling issues of indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and practices, including the legal regime and Native Hawaiian rights associated with malama aina, and with focus on cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability, and food security.  Before joining the law school and Hawaiinuikea faculty, Malia was the Director of the Molokai Rural Development Project for nine years.  She led training and education initiatives through the University of Hawaii Maui College - Molokai and partnered with a number of community organizations to strengthen the capacity of the workforce and local economy.  She is President and Founder of Sustainable Molokai, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on maintaining Molokai's cultural legacy of aina momona (abundant land) while embracing modern pathways to a sustainable future.


Michelle Kauhane, Member. Ms. Kauhane is Native Hawaiian and a homesteader from Kapolei, Oahu.  She is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Gonzaga University.  She has over 20 years of management experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors with extensive knowledge in affordable housing, lending, financial education and community development.  In her capacity as the Deputy Director at the Department of the Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), Ms. Kauhane was responsible for the management and oversight of the DHHL loan portfolio totaling more than $500 million in direct loans, federally insured mortgages and loans guaranteed by DHHL.  In July 2013, Ms. Kauhane was appointed the President and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement overseeing the entire organization, and with direct management of Lending and Investment Services and the Native Hawaiian Policy Center.


Blaine Kapu Gaison, Secretary. Mr. Gaison is a Residential Loan Officer with Bank of Hawaii and part-time entrepreneur. He has been with the Bank of Hawaii for three years working as a loan officer the Bank's Dealer Indirect Lending Department prior to joining the Residential Team. Mr. Gaison brings to HCA's Board knowledge in communtiy lending having worked as a Loan Officer with local Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement where he brought to life the Hawaii Family Finance Project, a United States Department of Treasury CDFI funded program that collaborates with Hawaii Homeownership Center and Hawaiian Community Assets to deliver free financial education services and assistance to Hawaii's first-time home buyers. Aside from his full time role with Bank of Hawaii, as an entrepreneur, he continues to create small business start-ups that positively impact the community and local businesses.

HCA Assists 249 Families Secure or Sustain Housing Since 2011


HCA has reported the organization assisted a total of 249 low- and moderate-income Hawaii families secure or sustain housing since 2011.* The numbers include families who had secured rental housing, purchased homes, or prevented foreclosure over the 3 year period.

Additionally, HCA reported a significant increase in the number of children and families enrolled in its financial education and housing counseling programs over the last 3 years. From 2011 to 2013, HCA experienced a 57% increase in its client enrollment numbers from 924 children and families in 2011 to 1,621 children and famlies in 2013.
"With the insability of our economy and housing market, we have seen an increase in the demand for free financial services and products among our very-low and low-income youth and families," said HCA Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath. "We mahalo our funders, sponsors, and partners in helping ensure critical financial services reach our families as they work hard to recover from the economic rececession."
*Secured housing refers to families who obtain rental housing or purchase homes. Sustained housing refers to families who prevented foreclosure or lease cancellation or secured financing for home improvement/rehabilitation.
Hawaii Community Lending Reports Success, Micro-Loans Assists 16 Families Prevent Homelessness
 [HCA] is able to use our loan products as tools for families to fight homelessness.
~ Jeff Gilbreath, HCA Executive Director
HCL logoHawaii Community Lending (HCL) was established in 2002 as a program of HCA to increase access to capital and economic self-sufficiency of Native Hawaiians residing in Hawaii.  While HCL initially focused on assisting first-time homebuyers secure affordable mortgage financing, the program followed market demand and with the housing crisis, refocused its product offerings in 2010 to provide access to capital for very-low and low-income Native Hawaiian families facing or at-risk of homelessness.
Credit Builder Micro-Loan Portfolio
The following is an overview of HCL's Credit Builder Micro-Loan Portfolio.  88% of borrowers who repay their loan in-full (or 15 of 17) secured permanent housing after successful repayment of their loan.  Overall, HCA has originated 24 micro-loans with 7 borrowers currently in the process of repaying their loan and actively seeking permanent, affordable housing. 
At Intake
# of Borrowers
Avg Score Increase
Avg Debt Decrease
# Loans Repaid
# Secured Permanent Housing
Borrowers with Credit Scores



63 points 






Borrowers without Credit Scores




633 points 







Housing Assistance Loan Addresses Lease Cancellation
With a growing number of Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries facing lease cancellation, HCL introduced its new Housing Assistance Loan product in July 2013 to expand access to capital specifically for beneficiaries of Hawaian Home Lands facing lease cancellation and eviction.  This product is complimented by Beneficiary Advocacy and HUD-certified foreclosure prevention counseling.
To date, the HCL program has originated 1 Housing Assistance Loan which assisted an elderly beneficiary prevent lease cancellation and sustain homeownership in August 2013.  The beneficiary continues to reside with her family in their home on Hawaiian Home Lands.
"The results of our lending work proves that Native Hawaiian families, hit hardest by the housing crisis, have the capacity to borrow and repay their debt obligations when the loans are structured appropriately," said HCA Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath, noting the organization has a 100% on-time repayment rate.  "It is with one-on-one attention, place-based financial education services, and estalished loan policies and procedures that we are able to use our loan products as tools for families to fight homelessness."  


HCA Receives $200,000 to Increase Number of Volunteers Fighting Poverty and Homelessness in Hawaii 



In September 2013, HCA received a $200,000 grant from the Federal Corporation for National and Community Service to recruit, train, and dispatch 14 AmeriCorps VISTA members to nonprofits across the state.


The AmeriCorps VISTA members are serving under the Building Stability in Housing Project, a project established by HCA in 2011 which seeks to institutionalize free financial education services and products within nonprofits, affordable and transitional housing sites, homeless service organizations, schools, and government programs. 


"The Building the Stability in Housing Project is not only about creating bridges from homelessness to permanent housing, but also building the capacity of our non-profit partners to ensure service to community," said HCA Program Director, Desiree Vea.  "The AmeriCorps VISTA program gives us the opportunity to continue the development of a housing continuum moving individuals from the beach to the biggest investment in their life - a home - as well as train individuals to pursue life-long careers in community development."


To-date HCA has reported the following key successes of its AmeriCorps VISTA program:

  • 57% increase between 2011 and 2013 in the number of children and families served with free financial education and housing counseling
  • 30 more families secured or sustained housing in 2013 than in 2012
  • 50% of HCA AmeriCorps VISTA members have gone on to secure employment in the community development field upon completion of their term of service

For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA program and available positions across the United States, visit

5 AmeriCorps VISTA Members Join HCA to Fight Poverty and Homelessness in Hawaii


HCA welcomed 5 new AmeriCorps VISTA members to its team in August to fight poverty and homelessness through the organization's statewide offices.  The VISTA members will serve 1-year terms with HCA, assisting with their various financial education and housing counseling programs. 


Tracy Parks

Youth Financial Education Program

Tracy graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology with a focus in Multicultural Studies. Her recent work involved the research and analysis of volunteerism within the youth population. After conducting her research she partnered with the City of Columbia and launched an independent non-profit initiative called "Youth in Action"-promoting youth volunteerism throughout urban communities.  Tracy joins HCA to build the capacity of its youth financial education program to increase the financial capabilities of low-income children statewide.


Annie AuHoon

Beneficiary Advocacy Program

Annie has lived on Hawaiian Home Lands most of her life, having been born in Nanakuli and raised in Papakolea.  Annie brings with her 20 years experience in community organizing and development services, focusing on low-income families and beneficiaries of Hawaiian Home Lands.  She is a mother of 5 children and has 5 grandchildren with 1 grandbaby on the way.  Annie joins HCA's Beneficiary Advocacy Team, working to streamline the organization's client intake process and expanding outreach to Hawaiia Homestead beneficiaries at-risk of lease cancellation and eviction.




John Malone

Renter Education Program

Originally from the Midwest-Chicagoland Area, John attended City College of San Francisco majoring in Economics.  His commitment to service has been recongized having received both the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Congressional Service Award.  Most recently John served as an AmeriCorps National Service member with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity from August 2012 - July 2013.  John comes to HCA to fight poverty and homelessness through enhancing the organization's renter education and counseling program for homeless individuals and families residing in transitional shelters.



Melatia Cabrera

Maui Office

Melatia was born and raised on the island of Maui.  A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Maui High School, Melatia was a part of Maui High's Video Club, Interact, and Key Club. She currently resides in Kahului, Maui and attends the University of Hawaii focusing on Hawaiian language and culture. Winning multiple awards for her public announcement productions, Melatia continues to use her passion of videography to communicate the important work of non-profits.  Melatia works out of HCA's Maui office and is dedicated to expanding the organization's services to hard-to-reach communities on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.




Benjamin Barrett (aka Benny)

Kauai Office

Benny was born in the cold state of Minnesota and moved to Bozeman, Montana for college.  Based on struggles experienced in his youth, his schooling focused on the social sciences and included taking a multi-disciplinary approach which consisted of courses in the fields of Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy, Native Studies, Gender Studies, Psychology, Literature, and the Fine Arts. After graduation, Benny began to seek a career that would allow him to employ his ever-growing, ever-changing passion and curiosity for the diverse world in which we live.  Benny joins HCA's Kauai office to expand the organization's work on the Garden Isle in building the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to acheive and sustain economic self-sufficiency.