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Hawaii Community Lending to Receive $2.4 Million for Native Community Development Financial Institution Relending Demonstration Program

Release Date

Funding Will Provide Direct Loans to Recipients to Buy, Build, Rehabilitate, Improve or Relocate a Primary Residence on Eligible Land

Hilo, Hawaii February 28, 2024 -- Today USDA Rural Development Hawaii/Western Pacific State Director Chris Kanazawa announced the partnering with Hawaii Community Lending (HCL) and funding of $2.4 million through USDA’s Native Community Development Financial Institutions Relending Demonstration Program with the signing of the agreement with HCL Executive Director Jeff Gilbreath.

“Affordable housing is essential to the vitality of rural and Homestead communities. State Director Kanazawa said. “The partnership with Hawaii Community Lending extends Rural Development’s outreach to increase homeownership opportunities for Native Hawaiians.”

According to Gilbreath, the opportunity to work with Rural Development is extremely important. “This partnership between HCL and USDA is critical. With RD funding, HCL will be able to help Hawaiian Homelands beneficiaries obtain affordable mortgage financing as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands ramps up its development under their Chair, Kali Watson.”

As for impact, Gilbreath said this makes housing in Hawaii attainable. “An estimated 10 low-income, native Hawaiian families will realize the dream of homeownership in Hawaii and reconnect to the land. They will receive a subsidized mortgage below five percent at a time when the market is at seven percent and above. At the same time, HCL will provide down payment assistance to make the families’ total out of pocket costs zero, he said.

Mahalo to USDA Rural Development and Director Chris Kanazawa for this partnership. We look forward to doing more together,” concluded Gilbreath.

The pilot program is being administered under Rural Development’s Single-Family Housing Direct Loan program that will provide a 1% interest rate loan to Hawaii Community Lending to relend to eligible homebuyers on Native Hawaiian Homestead lands.  To date, USDA is partnering with eight Native Community Development Financial Institutions (NCDFI) in eight states.

Entities certified as Native Community Development Financial institutions by U.S. Treasure Secretary can apply for this relending demonstration program.

To learn more, visit Native Community Development Financial Institution Relending Demonstration Program | Rural Development (usda.gov)


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