Triple Border
Hawaiian Community Assets Newsletter
Quarterly Newsletter

Jul 2014 

In This Issue
Renter & Financial Workshops Available Statewide
HCA Homebuyers Secure $20 Million in Mortgage Financing
Become a Certified Kahua Waiwai Financial Trainer
$30k Grants Available to Assist Homeowners
Hawaii Families Claim $510k in Tax Returns
Free Tax Prep Services Available Year-Round
Quick Links
Mahalo to Our
Annual Partners
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 Pro Specialty
2014 Homebuyer
Workshop Schedule 
Kahua Waiwai Homebuyer Ed Cover  
Workshops are free to attend
Attendees MUST  first submit a completed client intake packet before workshop registration

Kapolei - DHHL Hale Ponoi
8:30a - 5:30p 
  • Aug 16th
  • Sept 20th
  • Oct 18th
  • Nov 15th
  • Dec 20th



Wailuku - Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center
8:30a - 5:30p
  • Aug 23rd
  • Sept 27th
  • Oct 25th
  • Nov 15th
  • Dec 13th
  • TBA  
  • TBA
Big Island
Hilo - Hawaii County Office 
8:30a - 5p  
  • Aug 30th
  • Sept 27th
  • Oct 25th
  • Nov 22nd
  • Dec 20th 

Kauai County Building -

includes 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p 

  • Aug 12th & 14th
  • Sept 16th & 18th
  • Oct 14th & 16th
  • Nov 18th & 20th
  • Dec 9th & 11th


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 certified housing counseling agency and Native community development financial 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
  • Training and Technical Assistance
  • MATCH Savings (IDAs)
  • Micro-Loans
  • Loan Packaging
Hawaiian Homelands Waitlister Moves Out of Homelessness, Creates Plan for Homeownership 


NANAKULI, HI - The story of Sarah Kawailima (above, back with children) is one of great courage and resolve.


Waitlisted as a Hawaiian Homelands beneficiary since 2003, Sarah is a single mother of 5 with one more on the way.  In the last 10 years she has gone from being a renter trying to qualify for her lease on Hawaiian Homelands to living in a transitional shelter to securing affordable rental housing.  Now, she is set on a path to realize her dream of homeownership in 2 years.


In 2012, after experiencing job loss and hardship, Sarah and her children moved into Ule Ke Kukui transitional shelter in Waianae.  While at Ule Ke Kukui, Sarah continued to work with HCA counselor, Mahealani Meheula on crafting an action plan, reducing her debt, increasing her savings, and improving her credit.


In 12 months Sarah saved $576, became certified in Homecare, and secured steady employment.


"HCA has always had my back and Mahealani has always been there for me to guide me and push me forward with my housing and financial goals," shared Sarah.  "She has given me strength to carry on, to move forward.  Throughout the difficult times, I always knew how important it was to continue to work to protect my credit and pay down my debt.  HCA has helped so much with this and continues to do so."  


In February of this year, Sarah and her family moved into an affordable rental unit at Hale Makana O Nanukuli, the first-ever beneficiary-controlled rental housing project on Hawaiian Homelands.  She was able to secure her unit using HCA's Renters MATCH Savings Account which provides a 4:1 match on savings up to $500 to pay for first month's rent and deposits.  The match funds are provided by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
With monthly rent payments at 14% of her monthly income, Sarah now has free time and loves spending it with her children, going to the beach, and supporting her kids in youth sports.
Renters MATCH Savings Account Helps 53 Native Hawaiian Families Secure Affordable Housing

HAWAII - Through its Renters MATCH Savings Account, HCA has successfully assisted 53 very-low income Native Hawaiian families secure affordable housing since 2011.


The Renters MATCH Savings Account is a product funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and administered by HCA in which Native Hawaiian families at or below 50% Area Median Income are able to access a 4:1 match on savings up to $500 for rent, utilities, and deposits to secure affordable rental housing.  Renters MATCH Savings Accounts are available through HCA's statewide offices.


"Match savings has motivated our people living in shelters and in overcrowded situations to complete HCA's renter education and counseling program," said HCA Program Director, Desiree Vea, noting more than 400 individuals have completed the program since 2011.  "In workshops and counseling sessions, families create action plans and learn skills to secure affordable rental housing.  Armed with savings and a steady, affordable home, they have greater opportunity to apply these skills for career training, home ownership, or starting a business - building assets and a stronger foundation for their children."


According to HCA's Annual Shelter Project Report released January 2014, 100% of homeless individuals enrolled in the Renters MATCH Savings Account secure affordable rental housing within 21 months.


The following table provides an overview of the product to-date.






Total Participant Savings Total MATCH Deployed 
89 53 $52,371 $115,046 
The average Renters MATCH Savings Account Graduate reports the following:
Average Monthly Income $1,359.03 
Average Monthly Rent Payment $395.70 
Average Housing Cost Ratio 27% 
For more information about HCA's renter education program, please call 808.587.7886 or email


Free HCA Renter & Financial Education Workshops Available Statewide!


Call to register for a free workshop in your area ~ Open to ages 14 and older



Aloha United Way

200 N Vineyard Blvd, 5th Floor

See below


July 29, 9:00a - 1:00p

July 30, 1:00p - 5:00p


Register: Call 587.7660


Neigborhood Place of Puna

16-105 Opukahaia Street

5:00p - 9:00p


Aug 7 & 21

Sept 4 & 18


Register: Call 934.0801 



Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center

87-1876 Farrington Hwy

6:00p - 8:00p


July 21 & 22

Aug 25 & 26

Sept 22 & 23


Register: Call 587.7660 


HCA Office

655 Kaumualii Street

5:00p - 9:00p


July 24 & 29

Aug 5 & 12

Sept 9, 16, & 25 


Register: Call 760.5100



      Budgeting            Saving                Banking            Credit            Renting vs Buying


Complete 4 hours of education to qualify for... 


A workshop certificate

Free budget and credit counseling

Match savings up to $2,000 to secure rental housing



Workshops provided with support from County of Hawaii, the City and County of Honolulu, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs. 

Report: HCA Homebuyers Secure $20 Million in Mortgage Financing



By the Numbers


1,735 Families Served


89 Successful Homebuyers


$576k in Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Accessed


$20 Million  in Mortgage Financing Secured


*Jan 2011 - Dec 2013

HAWAII - HCA released its 2014 Homebuyer Education Program Report today highlighting outcomes of its HUD-certified homebuyer education program from January 2011 to December 2013.


According to the Report, 1,735 low-income families were served with free homebuyer education workshops and individualized counseling across the state.  Of the total clients served, 89 families purchased homes during the 3-year period securing more than $20 million in mortgage financing from the Federal government as well as local and off-shore financial institutions.


The Report also highlighted the average mortgage qualification amounts of HCA clients.  The average HCA client household was able to qualify for $173,460 in mortgage financing with current income and existing debt.  Meanwhile, the statewide median sales price for single family homes in 2013 was $509,400 according to Zillow, an extensive online real estate database.  Median sales prices of single family homes on Hawaiian Homelands, an affordable option for individuals with 50% or more Hawaiian ancestry, range from $285,900 on Hawaii Island to $300,000 on Maui.


"Access to capital is critical for providing our local families with the pathway to purchase homes," said Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath.  "We mahalo our lending institution partners in providing access to mortgage financing to support our families.  However, with the median sales price of single family homes on Oahu breaking $700,000 in June, we as leaders in the private and public sectors are compelled to identify and support innovative opportunities that will ensure our very-low and low-income families have a fair shot at realizing the dream of homeownership."


One such innovative opportunity includes the Hawaii Individual Development Account (HIDA) administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement through the Hawaii Family Finance Project, a 3-year, $3.1 million pilot funded by the US Department of the Treasury to increase homeownership low-income Hawaii families.  To become eligible for HIDA during the project, participants were required to complete free, HUD-certified homebuyer education and counseling with HCA or Hawaii HomeOwnership Center before they could enroll in the HIDA held by First Hawaiian Bank.  Qualified participants were able to receive up to a 7:1 match on savings of $2,500 for down payment and closing costs on a first-come, first-serve basis.  34% of HCA homebuyers accessed HIDA match funds in order to close on their mortgage loan, according to Gilbreath.


The HIDA program is seeking funds to match the savings of its 192 participants preparing for homeownership.  Currently, no funds are available to match participant savings.


Other key findings of the report included:
  • 94% of Native Hawaiian families who purchased a home through HCA's Homebuyer Education Program currently report a lower housing cost burden than the average Hawaii homeowner (48.2%)[i];
  • 66% of homebuyers who received HUD-certified homebuyer education training and individualized counseling through HCA's Homebuyer Education Program purchased homes during the program period WITHOUT access to financial assistance;
  • The average HCA homebuyer increased their savings by $5,708 during enrollment in its homebuyer education program, and;
  • HCA homebuyers accessed $576,972 in down payment and closing cost assistance to realize homeownership. 
To view the full report Click Here.


For more information or to enroll in HCA's Homebuyer Education Program contact call 808.587.7886 or email
[i] 2014 Hawaii Assets and Opportunities Scorecard. Corporation for Enterprise Development. January 2014

Kahua Waiwai Financial Trainer Certification Course

Hawaii's Only Course Offering Trainer Certification in Place-Based Financial Education



Kahua Waiwai CoverCertification training offered by Hawaii-based, nonprofit HUD-certified financial education provider, Hawaiian Community Assets.  Certifies staff and volunteers from community-based organizations, education and financial institutions, government agencies, and businesses to deliver place-based financial education using the Kahua Waiwai: Building a Foundation of Wealth(c) curriculum.


"[Kahua Waiwai] is the only culturally-competent financial education curriculum I've seen out there."

~ Alex Logan, Salvation Army Trainer, 2009


Attendees receive:

*16 hours of training and instruction

*1 participant handbook

*1 instructors guide with instructor cd-rom

*Access to Kahua Waiwai(c) curriculum for youth and adult participants

*Ongoing training and technical assistance

*Free credit report review and counseling by HUD-certified HCA staff





Aug 4th & 5th

Aloha United Way

200 N Vineyard

5th Floor, Oahu Room

Honolulu, HI



Aug 12th & 13th

HCA Office

4523 Ioane Road

Anahola, HI



 Aug 19th & 20th


1791 Wili Pa Loop

Wailuku, HI


Hawaii Island

Aug 25th & 26th

Hawaii County

1990 Kinoole Street

Room 104

Hilo, HI




Click Here to Register for an Upcoming

Kahua Waiwai Financial Trainer Certification Course

in Your Community for Only $150! 




IMPORTANT: Kahua Waiwai Financial Trainer Certification Courses to be delivered August 2014 on Maui, Hawaii Island, Kauai, and Oahu.  Courses limited to 20 individuals. 

$30k Grants Available to Help Hawaiian Homelands Lessees Make Mortgage Payments


 HAWAII - HCA recently secured a grant from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) and US Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Native American Programs (HUD ONAP) to provide Hawaiian Home Lands lessees up to $30,000 in grant funds to reduce their mortgage delinquency.


According to HCA's Foreclosure Prevention Program data, 79% of its enrolled clients are delinquent on their mortgage payments due to job loss and reduced income.


"We mahalo HUD ONAP and DHHL for making this funding available to assist lessees with HUD-certified housing counseling services and access to capital to sustain homeownership for future generations," said HCA Program Coordinator and 4th generation homesteader, Kahaunani Mahoe-Thoene.  "Our families are no different than other families across the country.  They work hard, but have faced tremendous financial hardship due to unemployment and reduced work hours and now need access to grants, micro-loans, and loan modifications to get back on track."


Money House Hawaiian Home Lands lessees must complete a client intake packet and receive housing counseling to be eligible for grant funds. 


Get Started Today - Complete a Client Intake Packet. 


As a Native-controlled community development financial institution with a combined 48 years experience assisting Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries, HCA offers lessees free help with:

  • Budgeting
  • Communicating with lenders
  • Securing loan modifications and workout plans
  • Accessing grants and loans for mortgage reinstatement
  • Preparing Successors for homeownership 

If you or someone you know if struggling to make their mortgage payments on Hawaiian Home Lands, please call 1.866.400.1116 or email 

HCA Assists Low-Income Families Claim $510k in Tax Returns Since 2010


HAWAII - Through its Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA) program, HCA reported it has successfully assisted 444 low-income families file their Federal and State tax returns for free, assisting them in claiming $510,600 since 2010.


The organization also reported saving its tax filers $109,224 in professional tax preparation fees.  The National Accountants Society estimates the cost of tax preparation fees at $246/household.


In previous years, low-income Hawaii families were able to access in-person tax preparation services from HCA.  2014 marked the organization's first year in updating its VITA program to provide services through a virtual Facilitate-Self Assistance website to increase access to the program by hard-to-reach communities throughout the State of Hawaii.


For more information about HCA's free tax preparation services, please call 1.866.400.1116 or via email at




FREE Tax Preparation Services Available Year-Round


HAWAII - HCA is excited to announce it free tax preparation assistance virtual site is open year-round!


"We are encouraging families who failed to file in April or got an extension to utilize our free tax preparation virtual site," said HCA Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath.  "Our families can claim $5,000 or more in Earned Income and Child Tax Credits to help cover housing payments, put food on the table, and build savings for emergencies and long-term financial goals."


Hawaii households that earned less than $58,000 in 2013 are able to access the organization's virtual site anytime during the calendar year.  The virtual site is administered communities across the nation in partnership with Goodwill Industries, United Way, and Walmart.



Follow 4 Easy Steps to file your taxes for FREE:


1) Gather your household's 2013 W2 Forms


2) Visit 




4) Input information from your 2013 W2 Forms

My Free Taxes