Hawai‘i Community Lending was founded to increase access to credit and capital for underserved communities in Hawai‘i with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.
Hawai‘i Community Lending was created by Hawaiian Community Assets’ co-founders and long-time Maui housing advocates, Blossom Feiteira and Kehaulani Filimoeatu. Together, Hawai‘i Community Lending and Hawaiian Community Assets implement a unique, holistic approach to helping families achieve and sustain permanent housing. It's named Kahua Waiwai, meaning "Foundation for Wealth".
Kahua Waiwai espouses the basic philosophy of "A Sense of Place." The home is viewed as a foundation (Kahua). Upon this foundation is built the family's spiritual values and teachings (Waiwai). It is the spiritual value of the home and its surroundings that provides stability and the opportunity for families to build a secure future. Opportunities that help stabilize family life help to create a more stable community. A strong foundation, if built properly, will serve generations to come.
Meet Jeff Gilbreath, HCL Executive Director
Housing is a human right, not a privilege for only those who can afford to pay the most. This conviction is what drives Jeff Gilbreath every day as he works to help make housing and living in Hawai‘i more affordable for local people and Native Hawaiians. As Executive Director of Hawai‘i Community Lending, Jeff directs a team of nine staff in implementing the strategic objectives of the $6.5-million community loan fund. Back in 2000, working for AmeriCorps in Northern California, Jeff coordinated a countywide mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents and came face-to-face with their hardships living on the street. When he made the move to Hawai‘i to work with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, he realized the even greater need of the Native Hawaiian population. Jeff joined HCL’s parent corporation, Hawaiian Community Assets, in 2008, and six years later, Jeff established HCL as a nonprofit community development financial institution. During his tenure, the organization has deployed more than $26.5 million in grant and loan capital to support affordable housing for more than 3,000 Native Hawaiian and local families. “I believe it is my responsibility to make better wherever I am and call home,” he says, “with an understanding that I am a guest to this place and should be at the service of the native people who have come before me and taught me so much.” Opportunities that help stabilize family life help to create a more stable community. A strong foundation, if built properly, will serve generations to come.