Community Development Corporation Achieves Exempt Tax Status

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 08, 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii – The Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC) received approval of its tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service this month.   HCDC was incorporated in 2009 by homestead associations from Kauai and Oahu, to create a single nonprofit corporation to pursue community development projects.  In 2010, HCDC applied for its tax exempt status, approved in January 2011.

“HCDC is an efficient way for small homestead associations like ours in Anahola, or the small association in Kaupea on Oahu, to have one 501c3 nonprofit development corporation that belongs to all of us,” said Lorraine Rapozo, President of the Anahola Hawaiian Homes Association (AHHA).  “We could have created a community development corporation just for ourselves, but we know that there are other homesteads that have the same need we did, a nonprofit development corporation.  HCDC is really the perfect way for many homesteads to not duplicate or struggle to find the expertise you need to do development.  HCDC is able to do it for Anahola, and any other homestead.”

The Anahola association is completing the construction of a certified kitchen, and designing a business plan to build a Kumu & Youth Academy in 2011.  The certified kitchen is an addition to an Outdoor marketplace of vendors operated 5 days a week, created by AHHA in 2010.  HCDC, as its nonprofit arm, is able to manage the marketplace, and in the case of the certified kitchen, to manage the project, compliance and fund reporting.  Another project underway that will be transitioned to HCDC, is a community center expected to go under construction in Kekaha homesteads, another member of HCDC.  The facility will create meeting space for the community, training space for small businesses and a focal point for community members to gather and work on solutions unique to Kekaha.

HCDC is the brainchild of Robin Danner, a homesteader, and also the President of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA).  “It was clear to see that it would be far more efficient for many small associations to band together and form a single community development corporation instead of many, each trying to find staff, fiscal talent and most importantly, project managers,” Danner said.  “At CNHA, many of our members are homestead associations, and as part of our every day work, we have helped many of these members find grant capital, and also to manage the projects.  HCDC makes it easier for everyone, especially very small associations to have one nonprofit to pursue grant dollars for them, to manage the construction projects and in the end to manage the operation of the facilities.”

HCDC’s initial projects are community facility and economic development in nature, however, it is poised to also construct and operate multi-family affordable housing projects around the state.   “HCDC isn’t needed by every small community, as many of the homesteads have long established, stand-alone development corporations doing amazing work, like Waimanalo, Papakolea, Nanakuli and Makuu,” Danner remarked.  “HCDC really levels the playing field for smaller homesteads that can truly benefit by working together, and it makes our job at CNHA, much easier when we are tasked to help an association.”

Danner referenced a similar model developed by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, when it formed Hawaii Maoli, a 501c3 nonprofit.  “It’s really a model that can work well, especially when organized correctly to minimize administrative expense and benefitting multiple organizations,” she said.  “I also see a similar need for cultural practitioners around the state that could use some attention in creating permanent facilities for artisans, practitioners and kumu.  The Kumu & Youth Academy in Anahola is a pilot project by HCDC to see if it can not only serve homestead associations, but also construct projects that create places that are the domain of our cultural practitioners and leaders of knowledge.”

HCDC is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to the development of facilities and improvements that creates stronger Native Hawaiian families and communities.  HCDC will host its annual members meeting on August 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.  If you are interested in attending as a guest, email Lorraine Rapozo at info@ahha96703.org.

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