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$1.5M in grants will help Molokai residents build and own homes [Maui News]

Hawai‘i Community Lending Grants and Loans

Hawai’i Community Lending has received grant awards totaling $1.5 million that will help the native Hawaiian community on Molokai achieve affordable homeownership.

The nonprofit received a $398,000 grant through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that will match $1.1 million in funding from the Administration for Native Americans, according to a news release Wednesday. The grant funds will allow the nonprofit to launch the three-year Native Hawaiian Owner-Builder Project on Molokai. The project will serve 58 Naiwa lessee families and five Native Hawaiian builders to increase their capacity to build and own homes on Hawaiian home lands.

Liliana Napoleon, volunteer and beneficiary with the Naiwa Agricultural Subdivision Alliance that plans to work with Hawai’i Community Lending to help bring services to families, said that the access to homeowner builder support as well as agricultural trainings will help residents shelter their multigenerational families and eventually develop their own food-producing farms.

“On a much broader scale, this tremendous support from both OHA and Administration for Native Americans will truly serve as a saving grace in giving hope and motivation to our lessees and their families to want to strive toward breaking the chains of generational poverty and suppression so that they and their generations to come can have a better quality of life and live full and active healthy lifestyles knowing that they have a secured place to call home, and that being their Naiwa Agricultural Homestead lots,” Napoleon said in a news release.

The project will train native Hawaiians as owner-builders, assisting them in navigating the permitting, approval and construction process unique to Hawaiian home lands as well as build their capacity to move their agricultural land leases into production. Hawai’i Community Lending will provide consumer and affordable housing loans for credit building, debt consolidation and interim construction financing so families can obtain mortgage financing. Native Hawaiian homebuilders will also receive technical assistance and lines of credit to increase their capacity to build package homes on Hawaiian home lands using federal financing.

“As a leader in providing affordable mortgage lending in Hawai’i, we’re honored to join the Naiwa lessees and all our partners to launch this important project on Moloka’i,” said Jeff Gilbreath, executive director of Hawai’i Community Lending. “We mahalo OHA for making this investment in the Naiwa lessee families and look forward to the day when we can celebrate their return to the land.”

See article at Maui News

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