$198,000 Grant Enables Launch of Native Hawaiian Owner-Builder Project on Molokaʻi: Maui Now

Nāʻiwa Nāʻiwa Farm Subdivision Project, Molokaʻi Island. PC: DHL

Hawai’i Community Lending announced grants totaling $1.3 million that aim to increase economic stability on Moloka’i by helping the island’s Native Hawaiian community upgrade to affordable homeownership.

A $198,000 grant has been issued through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs that will match $1.1 million in funding from the Administration for Native Americans. Grant funds will enable HCL to launch the 3-Year Native Hawaiian Owner Construction Project on Moloka’i. The project will serve 58 Nāʻiwa tenant families and five Native Hawaiian homebuilders to increase their ability to build and own homes on Hawaiian homelands.

Nā’iwa Homestead Subdivision EA Information Meeting. Venture capital: DHL

HCL, as a construction and mortgage financing partner, will join with the Nāiwa Agricultural Subdivision Alliance, run by Native Hawaiian recipients, to bring together other committed and Native-owned organizations so that services can be brought to families on the island. Additional project partners will include, Hawaiian Community Assets, 1st Lending Court, Honador Lumber and Ozzy’s Construction.


“On behalf of the tenants of the Nāiwa Farm Subdivision, we are so grateful for the tremendous support and genuine care from OHA and the Administration for Native Americans in helping us get a foothold on our agricultural farm lots and giving us the opportunity to receive access. to homebuilder support and agricultural training so that we can soon see the fruit of a livable home to house our multi-generational families and eventually develop our food-producing farms to feed our families and meet our lease obligations,” he said NASA volunteer and beneficiary, Liliana Napoleón.

“On a much broader scale, this tremendous support from both OHA and the Administration for Native Americans will really serve as a saving grace by giving hope and encouragement to our renters and their families to want to strive to break the shackles of generational poverty and repression so that they and their succeeding generations can have a better quality of life and live healthy, active and fulfilling lifestyles, knowing that they have a safe place to call home, and that is their Nāiwa Agricultural lots Homestead,” Napoleon said.

The project will train Native Hawaiians as owner-builders, helping them navigate the permitting, approval and construction process unique to Hawaiian Home Lands, as well as building their capacity to bring their farmland leases into production. HCL will provide consumer and affordable home loans for credit building, debt consolidation and interim construction financing so families can obtain mortgage financing. Native Hawaiian homebuilders will also receive technical assistance and lines of credit to increase their ability to build home packages on Hawaiian Home Lands using federal funding.


Each of the partners has a role in the project:

  • POT (Nāiwa Agricultural Subdivision Alliance) is led by Native Hawaiian grantees and will form a community advisory committee, recruit community members, host workshops including farmer trainings for tenants, and coordinate with HCL for quarterly meetings.
  • LCH (Hawai’i Community Lending) is run by Native Hawaiians and provides grants and loans to help families qualify for construction and mortgage financing. HCL will also create an owner-builder manual focused on the needs of Native Hawaiian recipients.
  • HCA is run by Native Hawaiians and provides HUD housing counseling to help families budget, save and reduce debt.
  • onest tribal loans will offer affordable mortgage options to Native families across the country.
  • Wood Honorer is committed to Native Hawaiians and will provide building materials with value-engineered home packages that will be affordable for families.
  • Ozzy’s Construction It is owned by Native Hawaiians and will build homes and hire and train workers on the island.

“As a leader in providing affordable home loans in Hawaii, we are honored to join Nāiwa renters and all of our partners to launch this important project on Molokaʻi,” said Jeff Gilbreath, CEO of Hawaiʻi Community Lending. “We thank OHA for making this investment in Nāiwa’s tenant families and we look forward to the day we can celebrate their return to the land.”