Updated: November 30, 2023
American Savings Bank, in collaboration with Hawaiʻi Community Lending, made a $4.3 million investment in homeownership opportunities for Native Hawaiians eligible to reside on Hawaiian home lands.
Hawaiʻi Community Lending, a nonprofit community development financial institution, will use $4 million of American Savings Bank’s investment to offer interim construction loans requiring no down payment to Native Hawaiians across the state.
American Savings Bank’s investment comes at a time when the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, under the leadership of new director Kali Watson, plans to spend $600 million in state funds for housing.
“We mahalo American Savings Bank for their commitment to housing Hawaiians,” said Jeff Gilbreath, executive director at Hawaiʻi Community Lending. “This $4.3 million is just the beginning. It represents a down payment on what we believe will grow into the largest investment of private capital into housing Hawaiian home land beneficiaries since the creation of the trust lands more than 100 years ago.”
In addition to the investment, American Savings Bank will provide a $365,000 grant to Hawaiʻi Community Lending to support operations of the construction loan fund.
American Savings Bank leveraged a 2.6x match from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines under the Member Impact Fund, a $15 million initiative aimed to increase resources for affordable housing in Hawai‘i and other underserved states and territories.
According to Gilbreath, nearly 800 Native Hawaiians with paper leases under Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’s Undivided Interest Lessee Program are unable to build homes due to lack of affordable construction financing and infrastructure.
“This type of partnership does not happen overnight,” Gilbreath said. “It requires us to be upfront and clear with one another about our intentions. As we move forward, American Savings Bank and Hawaiʻi Community Lending continue to have many conversations about how to best support the community.”
“I feel confident that we can provide interim construction loans to Hawaiian families who deserve them, and over time develop a larger, more extensive partnership that always puts community at the forefront,” Gilbreath added.
With Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ plan to use part of the $600 million allocation from the State for critical infrastructure needs, American Savings Bank’s investment in Hawaiʻi Community Lending will give native Hawaiians new capability to construct and own a home in Hawai‘i.
“We are committed to building on our efforts to expand access to affordable homeownership,” said Ann Teranishi, president and CEO at American Savings Bank. “It is our obligation and privilege to give back to the communities we serve. We are proud to partner with Hawai‘i Community Lending to create positive change for Hawai‘i.”
Native Hawaiian families in need of a construction loan on Hawaiian home lands are encouraged to sign up for Hawaiʻi Community Lendingʻs interest list so they can apply for a loan once funding becomes available.
To join the interest list, call Hawaiʻi Community Lending at 808-587-7656 or visit HawaiiCommunityLending.com/buy-a-home to complete the contact form.