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Hawai‘i Community Lending announces Lahaina Homeowner Recovery Program [Maui News]

Maui Relief for Lahaina and Kanaka Anti-displacement fund

HCL and partners collaborate on three-year program to help homeowners finance and rebuild

Eight months after the devastating August fires, an estimated 781 Lahaina owner-occupant homeowners continue to face dire circumstances, living with no home and collectively holding more than $225 million in first mortgages.

Recognizing this pressing need, Hawai’i Community Lending (HCL) has partnered with Hawai’i Community Foundation and Holomua Collective to establish the Lahaina Homeowner Recovery Program.

This three-year program will assist up to 500 owner-occupant Lahaina homeowners prevent foreclosure and qualify for financing to rebuild their homes. Partnering with HCL to fund the program such companies and organizations such as First Hawaiian Bank, American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawai’i, Central Pacific Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Hawai’i National Bank, Finance Factors, Holomua Collective, the Maui Strong Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation, and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, have all stepped in to contribute.

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) increased the reach of bank partners with its 3:1 Member Impact Fund, designed to offer eligible organizations critical financial support for affordable housing and community development initiatives in targeted areas of FHLB Des Moines’ district.

The Lahaina Homeowner Recovery Program will expand from HCL’s Kānaka Anti-Displacement Fund to serve all Lahaina owner-occupant homeowners. The fund launched in September 2023 to help the 104 native Hawaiian homeowners in the Leiali’i homestead access FEMA/SBA applications and appeals; a grant-funded public insurance adjuster; emergency credit counseling; loss mitigation assistance; and other grants and low-interest loans to help fund their temporary living situations, existing mortgages, and future rebuild.

According to Jeff Gilbreath, HCL executive director, expansion of the program is critical right now with many Lahaina homeowners unable to live in their homes and likely experiencing losses in income.

“If our homeowners are unable to prevent foreclosure and rebuild their homes, we will see a devastating impact on entire families, county property tax revenues, the mainstream financial system, and the economy overall,” Gilbreath said. “We mahalo our partners for their support and their commitment to work together toward a common goal of preventing displacement of our local and native Hawaiian people from Maui and the islands.”

Kris Williams, President of Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines said, “The Member Impact Fund is just one-way FHLB Des Moines enables our members to connect directly with local organizations, like Hawai’i Community Lending, who matter to them, creating value and a lasting impact in their own communities. The commitment of our Hawai’i members, and their connections to local organizations, help advance the positive work being done in Hawai’i.”

Micah Kāne, President and CEO of Hawai’i Community Foundation said of the effort, “We have been making sure that the Maui Strong Fund is dedicated to helping local Maui families recover and heal. This strategic partnership will be a pivotal part of this effort by making sure families are able to stay and thrive in West Maui.”

HCL will oversee and administer the Lahaina Homeowner Recovery Program. Staff will meet with homeowners to conduct delinquent loan assessments, refer to services, and help secure insurance proceeds, grants and loans. Under the partnership, HCL will work with local banks to modify existing mortgages to prevent foreclosure and obtain mortgage financing.

Mike Pietsch, Board Chair of Holomua Collective said, “Our work is focused on keeping all local working families in Hawai’i by making sure they can afford to stay. The tragic fire in Maui has made this an acute, immediate situation for many families there. We are optimistic this fund will play a role in returning families to their homes.”

HCL plans to start accepting applications from eligible Lahaina homeowners in July 2024. If you are a Lahaina homeowner who occupied your home at the time of the fires, you may sign up to be placed on an interest list by completing this https://lhrp-interest-form.zapier.app/lhrp-interest-form.

Visit https://hawaiicommunitylending.com/mauirelief/ for more information about the program.

As a trusted financial community partner, HCL was created to fund the affordable housing ecosystem from homebuyer to home builder to homeowner. Working to help solve the statewide housing crisis, HCL offers products and services for local and native Hawaiians to build, buy, and save homes from foreclosure.

See full article at Maui News

Hawai‘i Community Lending
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