HILO, HAWAII, June. 22, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Hawaii/Western Pacific State Director Chris Kanazawa announced today that the Agency has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hawaii Community Lending, Inc. (HCL) to expand access to homes for rural residents of Hawaii. The Memorandum will allow both agencies to participate together in providing long-term financing to qualified applicants to build and/or purchase modest, decent, safe, and sanitary homes in rural areas throughout the state.
“With the combined resources of Rural Development and Hawaii Community Lending, we are able to offer affordable home financing to low and very-low income families in rural communities across the state,” said Kanazawa. “Utilizing Rural Development’s network in Hawaii’s rural communities and with its system of housing program delivery, we will expand the access to affordable home to Hawaii’s communities.”
The HCL and USDA partnership will include outreach meetings, training opportunities, and other activities to ensure the community is aware of this opportunity. By providing access to affordable financing through Rural Development’s Section 502 Direct Loan program, the new MOU is expected to increase homeownership opportunities.
The Section 502 Direct Loan Program assists low-and very-low-income applicants obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability. Payment assistance is a type of subsidy that reduces the mortgage payment for a short time. The amount of assistance is determined by the adjusted family income.
HCL provides homebuyers access to grants and consumer and affordable housing loans to assist with mortgage qualifying, including deferred payment, no-interest mortgage financing funded with public grant monies. To assist very-low and low-income families in becoming mortgage qualified, HCL will use deferred payment, no-interest mortgage financing to increase their ability to build and/or purchase homes in the current marketplace.
If you are interested in the Section 502 Direct Loan Program, go to www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-programs/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.