Triple Border
Hawaiian Community Assets Newsletter
Quarterly Newsletter

Apr 2015 

In This Issue
HCL Partners to Launch Lending Circles
Hawaii Payday Loan Helpline
Report: HUD Housing Counseling Works
Orgs Join Together to Increase Economic Opportunity
Paid AmeriCorps Position Available!
300 Students Receive Financial Education
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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 
  • May 23rd
  • Jun 20th
  • Aug 15th
  • Sept 19th
  • Nov 21st
  • Dec 19th


Kula - Keokea Marketplace
8:30a - 5:30p
  • Jul 25th

Lahaina - Friends of Mokuula

8:30a - 5:30p

  • Aug 15th


Big Island

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

Anahola - Anahola Hawaiian Homestead Association Building


  • Aug 15th


Kekaha - Kekaha Enterprise Center


  • May 23rd
  • Nov 7th


Lihue - Kauai County Building -

includes 2 part workshop series
5p - 9p 

  • 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 with a mission 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 owns Hawaii Community Lending, a nonprofit, Native community development financial institution (CDFI) that increases access to capital for low-income Native Hawaiians residing in Hawaii.
HCA offers this quarterly newsletter to provide you with updated information on current development services and financial products: 
  • 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


First 50 Children's Story Books Jump Off the Shelves to Support Financial Education in Hawaii!


HAWAII - HUD-certified housing counseling agency, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), reported sale of its first 50 Kahua Waiwai, Keiki Edition(c) handbooks as it kicked off April as Financial Literacy Month.

I applaud HCA...for its commitment to showing you can do good in community while doing good business.


Kapua Gaison, President/CEO of InEvents


InEvents, the Native Hawaiian for-profit organization that coordinates and conducts the internationally-renowned Makahiki Challenge at Kualoa Ranch, purchased the first 50 handbooks with profit from its 2015 event.

"At IN Events, we believe in investing in our next generation.  Our children are one of the greatest assets we have to strengthen and sustain our communities," said IN Events President/CEO, Kapu Gaison.  "I applaud HCA for embracing this concept and for its commitment to showing how to do good in the community while doing good business.  And I encourage Hawaii businesses and residents to come onboard to purchase books so parents and children can learn about money management together."

HCA's Kahua Waiwai, Keiki Edition(c) is a financial story book developed for and by Hawaii children in 2014 to teach about coin recognition, saving, spending, banking, and social enterprise from a culturally-relevant lens.  Content of the story book is based on the standards established by President Obama's Council on Financial Capabilities for children, ages 0-5.



HCA has 2 additional Kahua Waiwai(c) editions for homebuyers and opio that are based on national standards and used in the delivery of free workshops statewide.

$1 Invested = $1 for Local Jobs 

Every $1 that goes toward the purchase of Kahua Waiwai(c) curricula goes to support jobs at 3 local businesses - HCA, Aloha Marketing International, and Obun Printing.

"Our Kahua Waiwai curricula proves that our community has the expertise to help address the key economic issues in our neighborhoods," stated HCA Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams, citing that all of the curricula were developed using a community-based model that utilized the knowledge of children, parents, teachers, and local business owners.  "Not only have they helped create a tool that will serve generations to come, but they have built their capacity to educate our children about managing our financial resources with the same precision and foresight as our ancestors."

Since 2009, HCA has generated more than $150,000 in earned revenue through the sale of its Kahua Waiwai(c) curricula to support free delivery of workshops.

Individuals and businesses interested in purchasing a Kahua Waiwai, Keiki Edition(c) can email


Hawaii Community Lending Partners to Launch Lending Circles for Low-Income Native Hawaiians


HAWAII - Native Hawaiian community development financial institution, Hawaii Community Lending (HCL), has announced a partnership with National CAPACD (Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development), JP Morgan Chase, and Mission Asset Fund (MAF) to launch lending circles in low-income Native Hawaiian communities across the state.

Through the partnership, HCL will pilot a lending circle product created by MAF, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, in which groups of 5-12 low-income individuals are provided 0% interest social loans to increase their access to capital and credit.   The lending circle product has been supported with funding from JP Morgan Chase. NCAPACD will provide HCL technical assistance to implement the pilot for approximately 35 Native Hawaiian individuals through February 2016.

"HCL is excited about our opportunity to bring lending circles to Hawaii," said HCL Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath. "Sharing resources and skills is a practice with deep roots in the Native Hawaiian community. Lending circles provide a vehicle to carry forward these traditional practices, so that our low-income people can have to access capital for their financial needs, opportunities to build credit in a safe way, and the ability to participate in the mainstream financial system.  This opportunity would have never been possible without the support of our partners from NCAPACD, MAF, and JP Morgan Chase."

Lending Circles will be operated by HCL in 'banking deserts', or communities that lack the physical presence of banks or credit unions. According to Gilbreath, residents in 'banking deserts' may have bank accounts but are more vulnerable to predatory lending and 460% APR payday loans.


"The ability to open a savings account and make deposits in your own neighborhood is something many of us take for granted, but in our low-income, and predominantly Native Hawaiian communities, there is little to no access to such opportunities," continued Gilbreath, citing that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported in 2012 that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the 2nd most unbanked and underbanked populations in the nation.

A schedule of Lending Circle Orientations has been set for the month of April with the launch of the first lending circles to take place in May.

To find a Lending Circle in your community visit



Hawaii Community Lending (HCL) is a social enterprise of its parent nonprofit corporation, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA).  HCL was originally created as the state's first nonprofit mortgage brokerage in 2002 before originating and servicing its own loans starting in 2010.  HCL was founded as a nonprofit in the State of Hawaii in November 2014.  Since 2002, HCL has partnered with HCA to provide low-income Hawaii families access to more than $142 million in capital through mortgage financing, match savings, and micro-loans. 





REPORT: HUD Housing Counseling Works


Recent research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Urban Institute finds substantial benefits to HUD-certified housing counseling for families who purchase their first homes and those struggling to prevent foreclosure.


Read more about research evidence on the role housing counseling can play in reducing mortgage delinquency and foreclosure and helping first-time buyers access and sustain homeownership.

Native Hawaiian Organizations Join Together to Increase Economic Opportunities for Low-Income Hawaii Residents


HAWAII - 5 Native Hawaiian nonprofit organizations announced a joint partnership on April 15, 2015 to increase economic opportunities for low-income Hawaii residents.  Funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the 3-year Building Stability in Housing Project seeks to recruit, place, and train AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve in nonprofit organizations across the state.  The VISTA members will form a corps of advocates fighting poverty through the delivery of HUD-certified financial education, micro-business training, match savings accounts, micro-loans, and affordable, permanent housing.


"Hawaii families report the lowest annual average pay rates in the nation, while having the highest housing costs.  This paradigm is forcing our families into poverty," said HCA Executive Director and AmeriCorps VISTA Alum, Jeff Gilbreath, during the announcement of the partnership.  "While in poverty, our families are feeling the impacts of an economic environment that provides them limited opportunity for growth and professional development.  A vacuum of economic opportunities results in our families being forced to live on the beach, take out predatory loans to pay for food and housing, and disengage from our local economy."


According to Gilbreath, Native Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in transitional shelters and on housing wait lists across the state.  In addition, Native Hawaiians and  Pacific Islanders are the 2nd most underbanked population in the nation, meaning they access high-cost alternative financial services, such as payday loans, check cashing, and Refund Anticipation Loans.  Together, the 5 Native Hawaiian organizations will be working to expand programs that support economic opportunity, including youth financial literacy across the state, development of youth-run businesses on Molokai, building of Accessory Dwelling Units on Oahu, and expanding Native Hawaiian asset building partnerships.


"I am humbled by the 5 Native Hawaiian organizations who have joined together to lead this effort," finished Gilbreath.  "Together, we understand that both our Native Hawaiian and non-Native Hawaiian families deserve a chance at economic opportunities to secure affordable housing, launch small businesses, and pursue college and careers."


The following organizations involved will place AmeriCorps VISTA members in their offices with additional nonprofits expected to join the partnership in 2015.

  • Sustainable Molokai
  • Hawaiian Community Development Board
  • Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
  • Hawaiian Community Assets
  • Papakolea Community Development Center


Paid AmeriCorps Positions Available!


AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Did you know that President John F. Kennedy came up with the idea for VISTA? Or that many of the best-known anti-poverty programs, including Head Start and credit unions, were created by VISTA members? VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for 50 years.


AmeriCorps VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.  Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.


More information at


Building Stability in Housing Project.  The 3-year Building Stability in Housing Project's goal is to establish a statewide continuum of service financial education, housing counseling, and match savings and micro-loan products that will increase the placement of impoverished individuals and families in affordable, permanent housing. Since 2013, the Project has assisted 134 low-income individuals and families fight poverty by securing or sustaining affordable, permanent housing.


Join a corps of anti-poverty advocates working together to fight poverty by increasing economic opportunities for low-income Hawaii residents.


Positions Available. There are currently 8 positions available under the Building Stability in Housing Project. View the service opportunities below:

  • Asset Building Coordinator (Kapolei, Oahu). Create and manage the Native Hawaiian Asset Building Coalition, a joint partnership between Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Hawaiian Community Assets.

  • Community Development Coordinator (Honolulu, Oahu). Assist Hawaiian Community Development expand affordable housing opportunities for native Hawaiian families across the state.

  • Community Development Coordinator (Honolulu, Oahu).  Build the capacity of Papakolea Community Development Center to implement the Kukulu Hale and Puowaina Community-Based Economic Development Projects, initiatives serving the economic opportunity needs of native Hawaiians on Hawaiian Home Lands.

  • Post-Purchase Housing Program Coordinator (Kapolei, Oahu). Establish a post-purchase housing counseling program at Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

  • Client Services Specialist (Honolulu, Oahu). Streamline Hawaiian Community Assets' holistic service delivery model to increase the number of low-income individuals and families served with culturally-relevant financial education and who successfully secure or sustain affordable, permanent housing.

  • Youth Financial Literacy Specialist (Honolulu, Oahu). Build the capacity of the Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program at Hawaiian Community Assets, providing culturally-relevant, age-appropriate financial education to Hawaii's children.

  • Youth Financial Literacy Specialist (Kaunakakai, Molokai). Expand Sustainable Molokai's Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program to include micro-business development for Molokai youth.

  • VISTA Regional Leader (Honolulu, Oahu). Oversee and provide support for AmeriCorps VISTA members across the state.

Compensation. Relocation allowance, child care allowance, living stipend up to $19,800 annual salary, health care plan, training, choice of education award up to $5,500 or an end-of-service stipend of $1,200. Inter-island and on-island travel may be required.


Service Dates. July 10, 2015 - July 10, 2016. VISTA Regional Leader anticipated service dates from June 1, 2015 - June 1, 2016.


How to Apply. To apply and find a service opportunity in Hawaii by visiting


300 Students Receive Financial Education, Youth MATCH Savings Accounts Opened



KAPOLEI - HUD-certified housing counseling agency and nonprofit financial education provider, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), kicked off Financial Literacy Month by serving 300 Waianae and Nanakuli High School students with free, place-based financial education on Friday, March 27 at the University of Hawaii West Oahu (UHWO) campus. 


The 300 students were participants in the UHWO's GEAR UP Holomua Program, a program that seeks to increase college access for the graduating class of 2017 at Waianae and Nanakuli High Schools.  During the event, students completed 3 hours of Kahua Waiwai Financial Education on budgeting, saving, and banking with HCA's certified Financial Trainers.  In addition, representatives from Bank of Hawaii were on-site to share about the bank's products, services, and the process for depositing money into the students' savings accounts.  No Vote No Grumble also registered students who are 16 for the 2016 election.


"The purpose of today's event was to increase our students' financial knowledge and access to the mainstream financial system so they learn the life skills necessary to become our next generation of homeowners, college graduates, and business owners," said HCA Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath.  "We mahalo our partners Bank of Hawaii, UH West Oahu, and the State Department of Education in making this event a success and launching the Youth MATCH Savings Account as an age-appropriate financial product that offers students the real life opportunity to make deposits, manage bank accounts, and save for the future."


Student opens Youth MATCH Savings Account with Bank of Hawaii representative.

17 students opened Youth MATCH Savings Accounts on the UHWO campus during the event for a total of 30 accounts opened since March 15, 2015.  The Youth MATCH Savings Account is a new product developed by HCA in partnership with Bank of Hawaii and modeled after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's SAFE Savings Account template.  Individuals under age 18 who complete Kahua Waiwai Financial Education with HCA are eligible to open a Youth MATCH Savings Accounts in their own name with a $1 opening deposit, no minimum balance, and no fees.  Students who deposit money into their accounts with no withdrawals will earn the chance to win up to $100 each month as an incentive to encourage long-term savings.  Financial support for the delivery of financial education and the product has been made possible with funding from the Rose Foundation.


"I was really impressed by the active student engagement in the class I observed," said Bank of Hawaii's Vice President of CRA, Scott Fujii.  "Our goal is to open an account for every Kahua Waiwai certified member of the Class of 2017 so they will have more money saved to go to college!"


Students celebrate opening their Youth MATCH Savings Accounts.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even a small savings account for a child can make a powerful difference in their future.  A recent study shows that children from low- and moderate-income families, who have a savings account for college, are three times more likely to go to college, and four times more likely to graduate college - even if the account holds less than $500.  The Waianae and Nanakuli High School Class of 2017 will continue to have the opportunity to open Youth MATCH Savings Accounts with matching incentives available through December 2015.


"What today's event has demonstrated is that there is demand among our Hawaii students for culturally-relevant financial education and age-appropriate, no-cost bank accounts," continued Gilbreath.  "HCA stands ready to help meet that demand with our certified Financial Trainers and partners."


Based on the success of the event additional financial institutions, nonprofit service providers, students, and families have expressed interest in the Youth MATCH Savings Account product.  According to Gilbreath, HCA is anticipating expansion of the product into markets on the islands of Lanai and Hawaii in 2015.






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