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Housing Help is at Hand through Maui Response and Recovery Strategy

Maui Wildfire Relief & Recovery

Hawai‘i Community Lending teams with Hawaiian Community Assets to implement housing response.

Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) and Hawaiʻi Community Lending (HCL) announced today a two-phase Maui Response and Recovery Strategy focused on housing starting Mon., Aug. 28. The strategy prioritizes increasing public awareness and access to homeowner insurance, disaster assistance, and grants and loans for recovery and rebuilding. The organizations will be working out of community hub offices in West Maui and at the Maui Mall managed by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

“We know our Maui ‘ohana is facing very difficult times right now. We stand with you,” said Jeff Gilbreath, executive director of HCL. “HCA and HCL were founded in the Paukukalo homestead on Maui. We have kuleana to all of Maui. Our team is here to help our people save homes from foreclosure, keep access to their land, and rebuild how they want to rebuild.”

Beginning Mon., Aug. 28, HCA and HCL will kick off the Phase 1 – Response including a public awareness campaign, education and counseling, and assistance with applications for FEMA, SBA, and insurance. HCA and HCL will get information to the general public via social media. and

The organizations will also launch a radio campaign with Pacific Media Group on all six stations and campaign with KAOI Radio AM/FM in order to reach the impacted families in the disaster area who have limited access to communication.

The public awareness campaign provides accurate information about filing insurance claims, applying for disaster assistance, requesting mortgage forbearances, and preventing scams and displacement from the land by predatory investors. In addition, HCA and HCL are doubling their on-island team and working with partners to help households navigate the filing of insurance claims, applying for disaster recovery funding, stopping foreclosure, and requesting mortgage forbearances.

“HCA’s HUD-certified housing counselors will work one-on-one with homeowners and renters to find a way back to home,” said Chelsie Evans, executive director, Hawaiian Community Assets. “I want the community to know that our housing counselors are your neighbors, some of them have losses in this devastation as well. They are here to help you navigate a complicated situation in the most difficult of times.”

In addition, HCA counselors will assist families in modifying their existing debts like credit cards, auto loans, and others are also available to reduce your current out of pocket expenses. Clients will be referred to HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity if they have experienced housing discrimination and will have access to HCL for grants and loans.
Disaster assistance applications and appeals will be managed by HCA and HCL’s national partner, SBP, which was established by the New Orleans community impacted by Hurricane Katrina. SBP will be hiring local people to assist with completing FEMA applications and filing appeals for denials.

Financial assistance is available for disaster victims. HCA will match households 3:1 on funds up to $1,000 for a total of $4,000 for first month’s rent and deposit to native Hawaiian families on Maui.

HCL has established the Kanaka Anti-Displacement Fund to prevent displacement of kanaka maoli (native Hawaiians) from Maui and other areas in Hawai‘i impacted by natural and human-made disasters. **HCL will launch this fund in early September.

Phase 2 – Recovery will focus on helping impacted households to rebuild. This will include engaging community to promote equitable recovery for Native Hawaiians and other underserved communities impacted by the disaster.

The organizations have convened a team of 12 specialists with expertise in emergency recovery, HUD housing counseling, community owned real estate, homeowner and renter financing, construction, development, and affordable housing policy to establish a long-term plan for assisting Hawaiian and local communities rebuild as they want to rebuild.

Hawai‘i Community Lending
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