Credit Unions, Financial Education Nonprofits Team Up on Homeownership Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 18, 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii — The Hawaii Family Finance Project, created by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) to serve native and non-native families statewide, is set to launch statewide services.  The HFFP has selected six credit unions and two financial education nonprofits as Project Partners to deliver assistance to low and moderate income families in every county.

“This is a remarkable partnership with community-based credit unions and nonprofits to join forces to concentrate services for families statewide,” said Lilia Kapuniai, CNHA Vice President and HFFP Lead Manager.  “The project brings our individual talents together to impact family financial standing to get positioned to purchase homes anywhere in the State.”

Overall, HFFP is dedicating $600,000 in matching funds to eligible families that save toward a down payment on a home and/or reduce consumer debt and improve credit scores.  The project also dedicates $150,000 in direct assistance to offset closing costs and $150,000 to work on family credit report scores.

Project Partners will deliver free services to participating families that includes financial education training, one-on-one counseling on household budgeting strategies, filing for eligible tax credits, and in-depth assistance on home loan qualifications.  Opening and utilizing bank accounts properly to save and manage household income is also provided, as well as training to reconcile monthly account statements.

“The Hawaii Family Finance Project is the first time that a coalition of community-based organizations located all around the State, have partnered at this scale to deliver family finance and homeownership services,” Kapuniai remarked.  “We appreciate the partnership of the Hawaii Credit Union League, the six credit unions selected, as well as the Hawaii HomeOwnership Center and Hawaiian Community Assets for joining the project.”

The HFFP is funded in part over three years through a pilot program at the U.S. Treasury Department.  Additional funding partners, including Hawaii banks and financial institutions have been asked to join the project to increase the reach to families in communities they do business in.

“It’s a win-win and it’s the right time to launch a concentrated effort that bridges working families to healthy household financial tools that build wealth through homeownership,” Kapuniai said.

The HFFP is a nonprofit initiative created by CNHA to prepare Hawaii’s families for homeownership and long term financial success.  HFFP is funded in part by an award from the CDFI Fund.

For More Information, contact Mr. Kapu Gaison, CNHA Community Development Specialist, at info@hawaiiancouncil.org, via telephone at 808.596.8155 (from Oahu) or Toll-Free at 800.709.2642 (from neighbor islands).

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing assistance in accessing capital and technical resources, and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic, and community development of Native Hawaiians.  For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at info@hawaiiancouncil.org, or visit our website at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.

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