ANAHOLA, Kauai – The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) awarded a 2-year grant of $484,114 to the nonprofit, Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC) also known as the Homestead Housing Authority. HCDC provides economic development and housing services, including financial literacy, foreclosure prevention, mercantile business training and tiny home technical assistance.

HCDC was founded by the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA) in 2009 as a dedicated tax exempt nonprofit focused on affordable housing and job creation on or near Hawaiian Homelands as defined by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.

“We applaud and mahalo OHA for this important investment of our trust funds in the abilities and expertise of the SCHHA and HCDC,” said Kammy Purdy, SCHHA Vice Chair. “These are subject areas that our homestead leaders and our staff are experts in. The entire SCHHA Executive Council appreciates this partnership with OHA to serve homesteads.”

The 2-year grant funding will distribute $200,000, nearly half of the total grant award, directly to families through match savings accounts to help with first and last month rent deposits, or to build additional dwelling units on their homestead residential or farm lots.

“This OHA investment will also support a much needed service to help families avoid foreclosure and lease cancellation,” said Robin Puanani Danner, SCHHA Chairman and HCDC CEO. “Sharing information with the thousands of family members living in our homestead areas, on their rights and responsibilities under the HHCA, in conjunction with family budgeting and business acumen is key to successful homesteading.”

SCHHA leaders founded HCDC 10 years ago to be 100% governed by SCHHA members, to serve the growth and well-being of families on the homesteads, and to implement solutions developed by SCHHA policy leaders around housing and economic well-being.

“Most people don’t realize that roughly 70% of the residents on homesteads are less than the 50% blood quantum required under the HHCA to obtain a homestead award,” Danner commented. “These thousands of Native Hawaiians are family members of the 10,000 lessees that are eligible for a homestead award of land. We know that success for homesteaders includes the success of entire families in better understanding the Act itself, so our housing services have a deep component teaching the brilliance and simplicity of the HHCA.”

HCDC will report its impact numbers to OHA as it does to the SCHHA and other funders for its programs. In addition to building affordable housing and building economic development projects, HCDC will add a direct loan fund to serve homestead farmers and ranchers, as well as transportation loans to help beneficiary families get to jobs or to work in micro enterprise businesses.

For more information about the SCHHA or HCDC, contact, or Rolina Faagai, HCDC Loan Fund Manager.