Hawai‘i Community Lending receives funding to help people become homeowners
Hawaiʻi Pacific Health and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation are providing a combined $1.5 million in social-impact loans and grants to support Hawaiʻi Community Lending, a nonprofit community development financial institution dedicated to helping low-income households become homeowners.
Hawaiʻi Community Lending projects this funding will support 200 low-income families in their pursuit of housing in Hawaiʻi, with the potential to help more than 900 families over the next three years.
Hawaiʻi Pacific Health is providing $1 million in the form of a low-interest loans to Hawaiʻi Community Lending, which reflects the healthcare nonprofit’s commitment to improve the social and cultural determinants of health through social-impact investments.
“At Hawai‘i Pacific Health, we believe health starts where we live, learn, work and play,” said Michael Robinson, vice president of government relations and community affairs. “We also recognize that improving factors outside of the medical care system that impact how healthy, or unhealthy, we are requires engagement beyond our traditional hospital boundaries, specifically in the areas of food system development, affordable housing, economic empowerment and education through holistic child development and family educational attainment.”
The Weinberg Foundation contributed $500,000 through a grant.
“The greatest challenges facing Hawai‘i, such as the lack of affordable housing and food insecurity, are also our greatest opportunities to come together, listen to those most affected by these issues, and invest in solutions that will make our islands more healthy, stable and vibrant for all,” said Marisa Hayase, the foundation’s managing director of Hawaiʻi programs and communications.
Hawaiʻi Community Lending specializes in providing loans to local residents who are able to make regular loan payments but are unable to qualify for loans from conventional banks and credit unions. With a focus on supporting Native Hawaiian and rural families, the organization partners with Hawaiian Community Assets to provide affordable loans and free financial counseling to nearly 3,000 individuals annually, helping them build credit, afford housing and reach financial stability.
This holistic approach has been key to the loan fund maintaining a historic default rate under 5% despite loans going to those who are considered “too risky” by traditional lenders. Last year, for every dollar Hawaiʻi Community Lending deployed in loan capital, households accessed $6 from banks and credit unions.
“This partnership affirms that our best investment is in our hardworking local and Hawaiian families who may struggle to find a home they can afford, but when given access to credit and capital, are the driving force behind remaking a more equitable Hawaiʻi,” said Jeff Gilbreath, executive director of Hawaiʻi Community Lending.