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Big Island Now ~ Fund Opens to Help Residents of Big Island, Kaua‘i Pay Mortgages

Affordable Housing Hawaii Hawaii Lending with Hawaii Community Assets Financial Opportunity Centers

The State of Hawai‘i and the counties of Hawai‘i and Kaua‘i joined nonprofit community development financial institution, Hawai‘i Community Lending (HCL), to announce the launch of a new $5-million Homeowner Assistance Fund.

The U.S. Congress established the fund in the Department of the Treasury with the purpose of mitigating financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The fund will provide homeowners with grants to prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures.

The pilot project will give an estimated 200 homeowners on Hawai‘i Island and Kaua‘i grants to bring their mortgage current or to reduce their monthly payments. Priority will be given to low- and moderate-income homeowners (earning below 100% area median income) and/or “socially disadvantaged” borrowers, including Native Hawaiians, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, African-Americans, Hispanic populations and homeowners with English as a second language.

HCL and sister agency Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) have professionally trained financial counselors on site to help homeowners with the application process. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, HUD-approved housing counseling agency. HCA builds the capacity of low- and moderate-income families to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency, with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, many families are still struggling with the economic fallout,” said Gov. David Ige. “Now many homeowners in Hawaiʻi and Kauaʻi counties may be eligible for mortgage assistance under this pilot program. It’s great to see all levels of government coming together to strengthen our communities.”

“For nearly six months, our county’s rental and utility assistance program has been helping our renters and landlords affected by the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Kaua‘i County Mayor Derek Kawakami. “Through this new and highly anticipated mortgage assistance program, we are excited that homeowners will finally be offered some much-needed relief as well. We thank our federal and state partners, as well as our nonprofit partner, Hawai‘i Community Lending, for their diligent efforts in bringing this program to Kaua‘i and our people.”

See full article at Big Island Now.