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ASB Invests More Than $4.3 Million in Hawaii Community Lending

ASB May 23, 2023 | 2 MIN read News Releases

American Savings Bank (ASB), in collaboration with Hawaii Community Lending (HCL), announced the bank’s $4.3 million investment in homeownership opportunities for native Hawaiians eligible to reside on Hawaiian home lands.

Mom with kids in yard Photo courtesy: Hawaii Community Lending

HCL, a nonprofit community development financial institution, will use $4 million of ASB’s investment to offer interim construction loans requiring no down payment to native Hawaiians across the state. ASB’s investment comes at a time when the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), under the leadership of new director Kali Watson, plans to spend $600 million in state funds for housing.

In addition to the investment, ASB will provide a $365,000 grant to HCL to support operations of the construction loan fund. ASB 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 Hawaii and other underserved states and territories.

Mom with kids in yard Photo courtesy: Hawaii Community Lending

“We mahalo ASB for their commitment to housing Hawaiians,” said Jeff Gilbreath, executive director at HCL. “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.”

According to Gilbreath, nearly 800 native Hawaiians with paper leases under DHHL’s Undivided Interest Lessee Program are unable to build homes due to lack of affordable construction financing and infrastructure. With DHHL’s plan to use part of the $600 million allocation from the State for critical infrastructure needs, ASB’s investment in HCL will give native Hawaiians new capability to construct and own a home in Hawaii.

“We are committed to building on our efforts to expand access to affordable homeownership,” said Ann Teranishi, president and CEO at ASB. “It is our obligation and privilege to give back to the communities we serve. We are proud to partner with Hawaii Community Lending to create positive change for Hawaii.”

“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, ASB and HCL 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.”

Native Hawaiian families in need of a construction loan on Hawaiian home lands are encouraged to sign up for HCL’s interest list so they can apply for a loan once funding becomes available. To join the interest list, call HCL at (808) 587-7656 or visit HawaiiCommunityLending.com/buy-a-home to complete the contact form.

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