Anahola, Hawaii — The Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has awarded grant funding to the Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC), a statewide nonprofit serving native Hawaiian trust land communities, to support economic development and healthy housing activities.

HCDC applied for two competitive Rural LISC initiatives: the Rural LISC Cohesive Economic Development Arts and Culture Initiative; and the Rural LISC Wells Fargo Healthy Housing Initiative. Arts and Culture funding will be invested in HCDC programs that promote an art district on Kauai; and a direct investment from Wells Fargo will support a portion of the LISC funding award dedicated to an HCDC program that helps native Hawaiian families upgrade older septic systems – especially important on neighbor islands where access to waste water facilities are limited.

“We appreciate the consistent partnership with Rural LISC over the last few years,” said Iwalani McBrayer, HCDC board chairman. “This national organization has helped HCDC to build our internal capacity, and with this year’s award, is helping to leverage HCDC’s own funding to support the art community and homeowners on homesteads.”

“Rural LISC is committed to improving housing conditions throughout rural America,” said LISC Vice President and Rural LISC Director Suzanne Anarde. “We are proud to support HCDC in their efforts to improve septic systems for Native Hawaiian families. But we couldn’t do it without the support of the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. Wells Fargo’s support has been critical in sustaining this rural work throughout the years. The long-term positive impacts on generational health and education outcomes – impacts that result from having a safe and healthy home – are undeniable,” she said.

Rural LISC is a national intermediary that invests in and builds the capacity of 86 rural community-based organization partners. Investments include financial resources, including grants, equity and low-cost loan funds; technical assistance; and training. Rural LISC’s investment in rural America totals $1.25 million and has produced more than 35,000 affordable homes and apartments and created over 12,000 jobs. Rural LISC is committed to making rural communities good places to live, work, do business and raise children.

“The Anahola Marketplace on Kauai, where HCDC is creating an art district is an important effort to diversify the economy in a rural Hawaiian home land community,” said Robin Puanani Danner, HCDC CEO. “Our best hopes are to replicate the open air marketplace here on Kauai, in other homesteads around the state.”

HCDC, founded in 2009, is dedicated to affordable housing and job creation on or near Hawaiian home lands. It is the nonprofit affiliate of the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA), founded in 1987 to advance the rights of native Hawaiians to access their lands under the congressionally enacted Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.

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