Rural LISC Invests in Native Hawaiian Homestead Nonprofit

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.

For more information, contact

Homestead Leaders Applaud OHA for Homestead Housing Program Investment

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.