Triple Border
Hawaiian Community Assets Newsletter
Quarterly Newsletter

Jan 2015 

In This Issue
Young Native Hawaiian Leader Appointed Employment & Housing Chair of AHCC
Waimanalo Homestead Families Move Home for Holidays
HCA 2014 YIR: 93 Families Secure or Sustain Housing
Rose Foundation Awards HCA $100k
Hiring: Part-Time Financial Trainers
BOH & HCA Partner on FDIC Youth Savings Program
Mortgage Assistance Fairs Serve 109 Families on 5 Islands
Mortgage Assistance Fairs Serve 109 Families on 5 Islands
Maui Homebuyer Workshops Kick-Off
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Quick Links
Mahalo to Our
Annual Partners
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SIC Logo
Territorial Logo
Gentry Logo

2015 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 
  • Feb 21st
  • Mar 21st
  • May 16th
  • Jun 20th
  • Aug 15th
  • Sept 19th
  • Nov 21st
  • Dec 19th


Kula - St. John's Episcopal Church
  • Jan 31st
Kula - Keokea Marketplace
8:30a - 5:30p
  • Jul 25th

Lahaina - Friends of Mokuula

8:30a - 5:30p

  • Mar 21st
  • Aug 15th


Big Island

Hilo - Hawaii County Office 
8:30a - 5p  
  • Jan 31st
  • Feb 28th
  • Mar 28th
  • Apt 18th
  • May 23rd
  • Jun 20th
  • Jul 25th
  • Aug 29th
  • Sept 26th
  • Oct 24th
  • Nov 21st
  • Dec 19th

Anahola - Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association Building


  • Feb 21st
  • Aug 15th


Kekaha - Kekaha Enterprise Center


  • May 23rd
  • Nov 7th


Lihue - Kauai County Building -

includes 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p 

  • Feb 3rd & 5th
  • Mar 3rd & 5th
  • Apr 7th & 9th
  • May 5th & 7th
  • Jun 2nd & 5th
  • Jul 7th & 9th
  • Aug 4th & 6th
  • Sept 1st & 3rd
  • Oct 6th & 8th
  • Nov 3rd & 5th
  • Dec 1st & 3rd



For more information or to register for a workshop in your community, contact HCA at 1.866.400.1116


Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) is a nonprofit 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


HCL logo


HCA Forms Native Hawaiian Lending Institution to Increase Access to Capital for Low-Income Families


HONOLULU - On November 19, 2014, HCA filed Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws with the State of Hawaii to create Hawaii Community Lending (HCL) as the second of two Native Hawaiian-controlled community development financial institutions in Hawaii.


Hawaii Community Lending Results Since 2002


$138 million

Amount of capital provided to low-income communities through match savings, loans, and access to mortgage financing


633 points

Average increase in credit scores of HCL borrowers with no credit scores at intake



 Average decrease in total derogatory debt by HCL borrowers



Percentage of Credit Builder Loan borrowers who secure affordable housing within 12 months of product enrollment


HCL was founded initially in 2002 as a program of HCA and served as the state's first-and-only nonprofit mortgage brokerage at the time, providing access to affordable mortgage financing for Hawaii's low-income homebuyers.  As a nonprofit, native community development financial institution, HCL will  provide loans to low-income Hawaii families for debt reduction, credit repair, and asset building, including entrepreneurship and housing.


 "The vision of HCA's founders was to create a Native Hawaiian bank, a financial institution dedicated to building and sustaining the economic self-sufficiency of our people," shared HCA Board President, Kehaulani Filimoeatu.  "By creating Hawaii Community Lending, we are carrying forward the vision of the founders and establishing a culturally-relevant financial institution that will create jobs, support permanent housing, and build the asset wealth of Native Hawaiians statewide."

According to Filimoeatu, revenue generated by HCL through loan fees and interest from borrowers will go to support the delivery of free, culturally-relevant financial education to children and families residing in Hawaii.

To date, HCA and HCL have provided $138 million in capital to low-income Native Hawaiian communities through match savings accounts, micro-loans, and mortgage financing.  Borrowers with no credit scores at intake who complete a Credit Builder Micro-Loan through the organization report an average increase in credit scores by 633 points and a reduction in total debt by $1,159 in just 12 months.  Additionally, 88 percent of borrowers who complete their loan obligation with the organization secure affordable housing within 12 months of enrollment in the product.

HCA Appoints HCL Board Members with Extensive Lending and Financial Expertise


As representatives of the parent corporation, HCA's Board members appointed HCL's 3-member Board during the organization's October 2014 Board meeting:

Michelle Kauhane (President) is Native Hawaiian and a Beneficiary of the Hawaiian Homelands Trust residing in the Kaupea Homestead on Oahu. Ms. Kauhane 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.


Kapu Gaison (Vice President) is Native Hawaiian and President/CEO of IN Events, a culturally-relevant promotional events company that strives to positively impact the community and local businesses. A graduate of UCLA's MBA program, Mr. Gaison brings 5 years of private and community lending experience having served as a Residential Loan Officer with Bank of Hawaii and previously with local Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement where he brought to life the Hawaii Family Finance Project, 3-year, $3.1 million United States Department of Treasury CDFI funded program to deliver free financial education services and assistance to Hawaii's first-time home buyers.


Jeff Ling Jeff Ling (Treasurer) is Asian American and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) who has been with MassMutual Financial Group for the past three years. Mr. Ling has been doing financial planning for businesses, families and individuals for the last six years.  He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a BBA in Finance and BA in Economics. Mr. Ling brings a wealth of knowledge in areas of retirement benefits, investments, insurance planning, estate planning, taxation and overall financial planning.


Young Native Hawaiian Leader Appointed Employment and Housing Chair for the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs


HAWAII - The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AHCC)recently announced their new administrative and committee leadership under its new President, Annelle Amaral.


Kahau MahoeHCA Program Coordinator and young native Hawaiian leader, Kahaunanani Mahoe-Thoene (pictured right) was appointed as Employment and Housing Chair for the AHCC.  Ms. Mahoe-Thoene is a member of the Waimanalo Hawaiian Civic Club and brings with her 8 years of experience in affordable housing, homeless prevention, property management, and HUD housing counseling.  As Employment and Housing Chair, she will have the opportunity to engage key stakeholders around solutions to the employment and housing needs within Hawaiian community.


"It's an honor to be appointed to this position, to be honored with the kuleana to gather community together for identifying solutions for employment and housing for our Hawaiian people," said Mahoe-Thoene.  "I look forward to working with community for community solutions."


Kahaunani welcomes community members who are interested in providing feedback or have questions, to contact her at

Waimanalo Homestead Families Move Home for Holidays


WAIMANALO - 6 native Hawaiian families (above) celebrated the holidays by moving into their homes in Waimanalo's Kumuhau Hawaiian Home Lands subdivision on December 18th.


The Ah Yee, Gomes, Joseph, Kam, Kane, and Lai Ohana participated in Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps low-income Hawaii families realize the dream of homeownership by reducing the cost of construction with volunteer labor.  Habitat for Humanity is recognized as a worldwide leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing.  Local Habitat for Humanity Affiliates are located on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island, and Molokai and are supported by Hawaii Habitat for Humanity Association


As a project partner, HCA provided the 6 families with HUD-certified homebuyer education and counseling so they could receive their Homebuyer Certificate to qualify for their lease awards from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.


During the December 18th house blessing ceremony, HCA gifted the families with Kahua Waiwai, Opio Edition(c)  handbooks to encourage their children to save money and spend wisely.  In addition, the families received information on how to qualify for up to $2,000 in match savings through the Punawai IDA program, a program funded by the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs and administered by HCA in partnership with Helping Hands Hawaii and Catholic Charities.


"I remember the Gomes Ohana when they came into our office back in 2011.  They were the first family I worked with!" said HCA Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams (pictured below, left with the Gomes).  "It is amazing to see the family in their new home after working so hard for their goal."




Congratulations Waimanalo Ohana!  Welcome Home!



Rose Foundation Awards Local Nonprofit  $100,000 to Increase Financial Capabilities of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders


HAWAII - HCA has been awarded $100,000 from the California-based Rose Foundation to increase the financial capabilities of 500 low-income Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in 2015.  Additionally, funds will support the launch of HCA's Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Institute which will create 8 paid, entry-level Financial Trainer positions with a long-term vision of building the next generation of community finance and banking professionals.


According to the 2011 FDIC's Unbanked and Underbanked National Survey Results, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have the second highest underbanked rate (30.2 percent) of all populations in the United States.  Underbanked households are less likely to have bank accounts and more likely to use high-cost pay day loans, check cashing stores, pawn shops, and other alternative financial services to meet their economic needs.  Through the project, HCA and its certified Financial Trainers will deliver financial workshops, financial counseling, and match savings and micro-loans to build the financial capabilities of low-income Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders as a strategy to reduce their use of alternative financial services in the State of Hawaii.


"We are honored to receive this grant award from such a prestigious entity as the Rose Foundation," said HCA Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath.  "Our two entities may be separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, yet we share a common philosophy: our natural, social, cultural, and financial resources are inextricably linked and it is the responsibility of the public and private sectors, across the state and nation, to come together to educate our families so they can manage these resources wisely and in-turn create sustainable, self-sufficient local economies."


Services will be delivered in partnership with project allies, including Bank of Hawaii, University of Hawaii West Oahu, Waianae and Nanakuli High Schools, Sustainable Molokai, Anahola Hawaiian Homestaed Association, Alternative Structures International, Hale Makana O Nanakuli, Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, County of Hawaii, Friends of Mokuula, the Waiohuli Community Center, and the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Development.


For more information about the project, please contact Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams at 808.587.7660 or


For more information about the Rose Foundation, please visit

Part-Time Financial Trainer Positions Available!



Bank of Hawaii Selected by FDIC for Youth Savings Program


Dec 8, 2014, 2:04pm HST

Jason Ubay

Reporter- Pacific Business News


Bank of Hawaii is one of nine banks in the country and the only one in Hawaii to be selected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for a pilot youth savings program.


The bank is partnering with Waianae High School and Hawaiian Community Assets for the 2014-2015 school year to help 400 10th graders learn about saving, budgeting and credit.

Hawaiian Community Assets is a nonprofit housing counseling agency and community lender that helps low- and moderate-income communities achieve economic self-sufficiency, with a focus on Native Hawaiians.


"The FDIC was interested in bank-school partnerships that established savings programs through financial education," said Scott Fujii, Bank of Hawaii's vice president and community reinvestment act officer. "Bank of Hawaii was chosen for its unique partnership with Hawaiian Community Assets because the culturally relevant program encourages savings and minimizes barriers for young people in opening accounts."


Students will complete the Kahua Waiwai program, which includes 45-minute lesson plans during the regular school year that reinforces practical skills for everyday life. In addition, after-school workshops are offered for families about credit, credit reports and savings accounts.  After completing the program, students will then be eligible to open a no-fee, no-minimum balance kid's savings account with Bank of Hawaii. The students also will visit its Waianae branch to learn about bank operations.


The bank hopes to expand the program to include 150 students at Nanakuli High School.


"The power of this program comes in being able to link financial education with an active savings account and learning the importance of insured deposits and managing money," Donna Tanoue, Bank of Hawaii vice chair and Bank of Hawaii Foundation president, said in a statement.


HCA Shares Strategy to Fight Homelessness on HPR's The Conversation


Desiree HAWAII - HCA's Program Director, Desiree Vea (right), was interviewed on Hawaii Public Radio's The Conversation on December 22, 2014.


During the interview, Ms. Vea outlined the organization's comprehensive approach to address the rising homeless rate in Hawaii, including training/technical assistance for shelter case managers, HUD-certified financial literacy and housing counseling, and match savings and micro-loans developed specifically for homeless individuals and families.


Click Here to listen to Ms. Vea's complete interview on The Conversation.


For more information about the recent outcomes of HCA's comprehensive approach to rising homelessness, view its 2014 Shelter Project Report.


HCA Serves 109 Homeowners on 5 Islands During Statewide Mortgage Assistance Fairs


HAWAII - Through its statewide Mortgage Assistance Fairs, HCA served 109 homeowners on Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Hawaii Island with free, HUD-certified housing counseling to prevent foreclosure and sustain homeownership.


During the Fairs, homeowners developed affordable household budgets, reviewed credit, and created action plans to sustain homeownership.  Low-income homeowners residing on Hawaiian Home Lands who attended the Fairs will also be eligible for up to $30,000 in loans for mortgage debt reduction to prevent lease cancellation.


Mahalo Nui Loa

Mahalo to the following native Hawaiian beneficiary-serving organizations for their support in coordinating and conducting the Mortgage Assistance Fairs!


Kekaha Hawaiian Homestead Association

Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association

Papakolea Community Development Center

Waiohuli Undivided Interest Lessees

Laiopua 2020 Homestead Association

Friends of Mokuula

Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center

Kealakehe Intermediate School

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement

Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Homestreet Bank

Habitat for Humanity


Homebuyer Workshop Kicks Off Series in Maui
By Kekoa Enomoto 



2015 Maui Homebuyer Workshops



January 31st - St. John's Episcopal Church Hall, Kula


March 21st - Friends of Mokuula, Lahaina


July 25th - Keokea Marketplace, Kula


August 15th - Friends of Mokuula, Lahaina



Call HCA to register!



KULA - Follow the money. And in one case, a nonprofit provides a trail to qualify for moneys to build and finance homes.

The O`ahu-based nonprofit Hawaiian Community Assets offers a homebuyer workshop Jan. 31 at St. John's Episcopal Church hall in Keokea. The daylong event is open to the public and launches a series of four such workshops on Maui.

Hawaiian Community Assets has timed the series to prepare Native Hawaiian homesteaders for 46 half-acre residential lots that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will offer Upcountry in June 2016.

As background, more than 300 DHHL beneficiaries signed "accelerated" homestead leases in 2005. They have waited a decade to select a parcel in the 350-acre Waiohuli Phase 1A subdivision in Upcountry Maui.  

Then, homestead leaders organized the Waiohuli Undivided Interest Lessees Association in September 2012. After 28 months of association officers advocating before the Hawaiian Homes Commission, DHHL plans to make 14 percent, or 46 of the planned 320 lots, available next year for selection, home construction and occupation.

Meanwhile, the Waiohuli Undivided Interest Lessees Association collaborated with Hawaiian Community Assets to present a 2015 homebuyer-workshop series; see the attached flier for the series schedule. Workshops aim to help DHHL beneficiaries and others to solidify their credit ratings, save for down payments and qualify for loans.

For more information, contact Waiohuli Undivided Interest Lessees Association president Emma Abihai Yap at cellphone (808) 264-6299 or email





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