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Hawaiian Community Assets Newsletter
Quarterly Newsletter

Jul 2015 

In This Issue
Match Savings & Micro-Loans Up to $5,000 Available
Annual Native Hawaiian Housing Summit - Sept 22, 2015
Positions Available: Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy
$20,000 Grant from First Nations
Students Save $1,300 in 1 Month
New Leadership Joins HCA Board
HCA Welcomes New Staff & VISTA Member
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Mahalo to Our
Annual Partners
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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 
  • Aug 15th
  • Sept 19th
  • Nov 21st
  • Dec 19th


Paukukalo - DHHL Office
8:30a - 5:30p
  • Jul 25th


Big Island

Hilo - Hawaii County Office 
8:30a - 5p  
  • 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 

  • 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 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


HCA Secures $530k for Services and Financial Products to Address High Housing Costs for Native Hawaiians 


HAWAII - Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) has secured a 2-year, $530,118 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to assist 500 low- or moderate-income Native Hawaiians increase their capacity to own or rent a home and build economic self-sufficiency.  Participants served through the project will receive free group financial literacy education, individualized and family housing counseling, and the opportunity to enroll in financial products to reduce debt, improve credit, and ultimately, secure or sustain housing.  Overall, the project will further the OHA's strategic results of (1) decreasing the percent of Native Hawaiian renters who are paying more than 30% of household income toward monthly rent and (2) increasing the percent of Native Hawaiian owner-occupied housing.

"OHA's investment in our organization is an investment in the Native Hawaiian people," shared Jeff Gilbreath, HCA's Executive Director.  "As we work to re-establish economic self-sufficiency within our Hawaiian communities, access to free, culturally-relevant housing services and capital for first month's rent, mortgage debt, and credit improvement is necessary to address the extremely high housing costs our families are facing."

The Corporation for Enterprise Development reports that Hawaii ranks last in the nation in affordability of homes and has the lowest average annual pay for its workers (2015 Hawaii Assets and Opportunities Scorecard).  According to Gilbreath, HCA will address both high housing costs and low wages by offering low- and moderate-income Native Hawaiians access to its MATCH Savings Accounts will provide a 2:1 match on participant savings up to $1,000.  Participants who save $1,000 with no withdrawals will receive $2,000 for housing-related costs to secure a rental or sustain homeownership.



Since 2011, HCA has deployed $316,000 in MATCH Savings Accounts and IDAs, assisting 91 Native Hawaiian families secure or sustain affordable housing.


Since 2011, HCA has deployed $316,000 in capital through MATCH Savings Accounts and IDAs, assisting 91 Native Hawaiian families secure or sustain affordable housing.  HCA will deploy an additional $200,000 through its MATCH Savings Accounts during the 2-year project, providing capital to 100 Native Hawaiian families to housing-related expenses.


Through its Native Community Development Financial Institution, Hawaii Community Lending (HCL), HCA will also deploy $100,000 in capital through its micro-loan products.  Qualified project participants will have access to loans of up to $5,000 to pay down collections, pay off pay day loans, and reduce other derogatory debt.  HCL loans have no credit score requirements but are only provided to individuals who have completed HCA services and meet a standard debt-to-income ratio to ensure repayment.


"To achieve long-term impact on the affordable housing needs of Native Hawaiians, it is critical that we assist our families in both increasing their financial knowledge through workshops and counseling, but more importantly, provide families the opportunity to act on the knowledge they have built through such products as MATCH Savings Accounts and micro-loans," finished Gilbreath.


Interested in Enrolling in HCA Services and Products?

Native Hawaiian individuals and families interested in enrolling in HCA services and products must complete a Client Intake Packet.


For more information about HCA's services and financial products, call 808.587.7886 or email


MATCH Savings Grants &  Micro-Loans Up to $5,000 Available to Native Hawaiians!



Hawaiian Community Assets is offering up to $5,000 in MATCH Savings grants and micro-loans to low- and moderate-income Native Hawaiians to assist with renting or owning a home.


  • MATCH Savings Accounts: 2:1 match on savings up to $1,000 for a total of $2,000 for housing-related expenses


  • Micro-Loans: Up to $5,000 to pay off payday loans and collections, reduce debt, and build credit



Call Today to Enroll!









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Join Hawaiian Community Assets for a strategic discussion with local, state, and national leaders supporting affordable housing for Native Hawaiians.


Who Should Attend: Housing Counseling Agencies, Self-Help Housing Providers, Community Development Financial Institutions, Banks, Credit Unions, Community Leaders, Nonprofit Organizations, County Housing Agencies Government Agencies, and Policymakers



  • Community Reinvestment Act presentation by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • Overview of FDIC Youth Savings Pilot Project by Bank of Hawaii and Hawaiian Community Assets
  • Updates on policy priorities to support affordable housing for Native Hawaiians residing in Hawaii
  • Awarding of the Annual Native Hawaiian Housing Award to an individual or organization that has demonstrated commitment to addressing the housing needs of Native Hawaiians

Interested in attending?  Register today for the Annual Native Hawaiian Convention.

For more information about the Annual Native Hawaiian Housing Summit call 808.587.7886 or email




Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy Opens Doors for Career Training in Finance


HAWAII - HCA announced the launch of its Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy.  The goal of the Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy is to build the capacity of Hawaii's next generation of socially responsible community and commercial finance leaders dedicated to increasing the economic self-sufficiency of Hawaii's low- and moderate-income communities with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.

"The Academy is a social enterprise of HCA with a vision to establish a sustainable pipeline of young professionals qualified for employment and career opportunities in the community and commercial finance industries," shared HCA Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams.  "At a time when our local and national economies are healing and the demand for financial literacy is increasing, the Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy will serve as a vehicle to prepare our people for careers in the community and commercial finance fields."


The Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy will offer 4 certification tracks ranging from Alakai Internships for high school students to Financial Trainer, Data and Evaluation Specialist, and Program Development positions.  Individuals accepted into the academy will receive stipends or living allowances during their enrollment.  All certification tracks will require individuals to complete a 16-hour Financial Trainer certification course, receive ongoing training from HCA's HUD housing counselors and trainers, and complete a minimum number of service hours prior to successful graduation.  Academy graduates may qualify for up to $5,700 in an education award to pay for college tuition or student loans and will be provided opportunities to pursue internships and entry-level positions with local banks, credit unions, and community development financial institutions.


Certification Track
Required Hours
Program Development
1700 hours
$14,500 living allowance, health plan, and up to $5,700 in education award for college costs and loans
Financial Trainer
300 hours
$3,000 living allowance and up to $1,150 in education award for college costs and loans
Data & Evaluation Specialist
300 hours
$3,000 living allowance and up to $1,150 in education award for college costs and loans
Alakai Leaders
100 hours

$500 stipend



HCA established the Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy in response to the economic turmoil brought on by the worldwide Great Recession.  Since 2009, the organization has certified more than 300 community members as Financial Trainers and served over 3,000 Hawaii children and families with place-based, culturally-relevant financial education using its Kahua Waiwai: Building a Foundation of Wealthİ curricula. HCA staff have a combined 45 years of experience in delivering financial education HUD housing counseling, and financial products in low- and moderate-income Hawaii communities.


Academy Accepting Applications 

The Kahua Waiwai Financial Academy is currently accepting applications and resumes with cover letters from individuals interested in building career skills in the finance field.  Positions are available on Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Kauai.


Individuals interested in applying to the Academy must complete an Application and submit with their resume and cover letter identifying the position they are interested in, to:


Hawaiian Community Assets

Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy

200 N Vineyard Boulevard, Suite A300

Honolulu, HI 96817


Program Development - Community Services Assistant: Individuals will develop and manage client intake for HCA, promote HCA services and products to the community, and assist HUD housing counselors.  Community Services Assistant Position Description.


Financial Trainer:  Individuals will coordinate and conduct Kahua Waiwai Financial Education workshops and assist HCA HUD trainers with housing and financial education workshops.  Financial Trainer Position Description.

Data and Evaluation Specialist:  Individuals will develop and manage data and evaluation systems for HCA and assist HUD counselors trainers in gathering, inputting, and analyzing client data. 
Data and Evaluation Specialist Position Description.  


Alakai Leader:  High school students who have completed Kahua Waiwai Financial Education will be certified to deliver Kahua Waiwai Financial Education to pre-school students on Oahu's Leeward Coast.  Students will also meet as a Financial Capability Council to identify ways to promote financial education and asset building programs in their schools.  Alakai Leader positions are currently closed to Youth MATCH Savings Accountholders only.


For more information about the Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy contact Ms. Williams at 808.587.7660 or via email at


HCA Receives $20,000 from First Nations to Create Alaka`i Internship Program to Support Youth Financial Education

HONOLULU, HI - In June 2015, HCA received a $20,000 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado.  This award will support the efforts of HCA's Kahua Waiwai Youth Financial Education Program by launching a pilot Alaka`i Internship Program.


Through the pilot, HCA will recruit and train 10 Native Hawaiian youth (ages 13-18) enrolled in Youth MATCH Savings Accounts at Waianae and Nanakuli High Schools to deliver financial education to 100 keiki (children ages 0-5) attending Leeward Oahu preschools.  The secondary school youth will serve as the Alaka`i interns and be trained to use HCA's Kahua Waiwai Keiki Edition(c) as the mode of instruction to promote financially literate preschoolers.  


"We are excited to have First Nations' support in rolling this new program," shared HCA Financial Training Program Coordinator, Lahela Williams.  "First Nations' investment in our youth program is an investment that will both increase financial capabilities of our Native Hawaiian children on the Waianae Coast, but also further the career development of our high school students as they grow into adulthood."


The Alaka`i Internship Program will provide each youth intern with peer mentoring and job/career training opportunities in the community finance sector.  Interns will receive a $500 stipend for delivering financial education and participating on Financial Education Councils to increase the culture of financial literacy within their respective high schools.  Additional job/career training opportunities will be provided to the interns by local banks and credit unions in partnership with HCA through the Kahua Waiwai Financial Training Academy.


For more information about HCA's Alaka`i Internship Program, contact Ms. Williams at 808.587.7660 or via email at 

Students Save More than $1,300 in Their Youth MATCH Savings Accounts in Just 1 Month!


WAIANAE - In celebration of April as Financial Literacy Month, HCA and Bank of Hawaii partnered to assist 32 Waianae and Nanakuli High School students open Youth MATCH Savings Accounts.  In just 1 month, the 32 students have save more than $1,300!



Youth MATCH Savings Account

Managing Assets to Change Hawaii


  • Kahua Waiwai(c) Financial Education required
  • $1 Opening Deposit
  • No Minimum Balance
  • No Fees
  • Savings for college & career goals
  • Up to $100 in match savings each month if deposits made & no withdrawals

The Youth MATCH Savings Account is a product developed by HCA and its Native-controlled CDFI, Hawaii Community Lending, using the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's SAFE Savings Account template and as a tool to incentivize students from low-income communities to save for college and career goals.  The Accounts are available to students, under 18 who have completed HCA's Kahua Waiwai Financial Education program and allow for a $1 deposit, no minimum balance or fees, and access to match savings incentives up to $100 per month.


The pilot project with Waianae and Nanakuli students has been funded by Rose Foundation.  HCA and Bank of Hawaii project to expand access to the Youth MATCH Savings Account to students on Hawaii Island, Kauai, and Lanai during the 2015-16 school year.


For more information about HCA's Youth MATCH Savings Account, contact Lahela Williams at 808.587.7660 or via email at


New Leadership Joins HCA Board


HCA is proud to announce the addition of Noelle Kai and Dwight Witlarge as members of its Board.


Noelle Kai began her career at City Bank, where she learned about mortgage servicing, and later supervised Escrow Operations.  Ten years of mortgage experience blossomed into a diverse 15-year real estate career covering transaction management, property sales, escrow processing, and client management.  During that time, she was commissioned as a Notary Public in Hawai`i, and built a successful mobile notary business.  Today, Ms. Kai is an Account Manager for NexTitle's Hawai`i Operation where she oversees the sale of title insurance and escrow closing services, as well as maintenance of existing client relationships.








Dwight Witlarge grew up in Los Angeles California and moved to Hawaii in 2005.  A graduate of the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business, Mr. Witlarge holds two bachelors in Business with focuses of Entrepreneurship and International Business.  He has been in the financial service industry since 2011, having assisted several, local start-up companies during his college career and later working as a Junior Executive Financial Analyzer for Samsung Technology in Korea.  Mr. Witlarge is currently employed with New York Life where he works with families and businesses to create custom investment solutions. 

HCA Welcomes on New Staff and VISTA Member to Team


HCA welcomes new staff and VISTA member to its team.



Vicki-Ann Paresa comes to HCA with over 20 years of client related services from both public and non-profit sectors.  Her employment history includes Office Manager in the State Legislature, Construction Clerk with the State Airports and Highways Divisions, and educational support positions within Kamehameha Schools.  In the last 5 years she has been working with homeless individuals and families in an administrative and managerial capacity on the Waianae Coast.  Ms. Paresa was influential in developing client service directives and processes to meet organizational and funder benchmarks.  In her capacity as a Community Services Specialist, she provides Oahu individuals and families with housing and financial education services and certified to deliver Kahua Waiwai Financial Education workshops.


Anthony Savvis joins HCA with a background in education, youth development, and community outreach.  Mr. Savvis became familiar with HCA through the use of the Kahua Waiwai curriculum in the classroom.  In his current capacity as a Community Services Specialist, Anthony provides housing and financial counseling services to families on the west side of Hawaii Island through the organization's Kona field office.  He has extensive experience in nonprofit program development and implementation, project management, and family empowerment.




Andrew Dupio grew up on the east side of Hawaii Island, born and raised in Hilo and Puna.  He started working as a young man during Junior High School building fences, digging holes, and planting grass and trees.  Over the last 10 years, Andrew has lived and worked on the Continental US in the food industry, gold mining in Alaska, and a care giver in Washington.  Andrew joins HCA as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, assisting the Hawaii Island office serve individuals with financial education and counseling.  To Andrew, family is one of the most important things in the world and he is very pleased to be working with HCA to help families in Hawaii.







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