HONOLULU – A $25,000 grant awarded to the HHOC Housing and Land Trust by the Nareit Foundation is helping to make first-time homeownership possible for six workforce families.
The HHOC Housing and Land Trust is using the grant to cover carrying costs, like insurance, utilities, and association dues, and to also pay for light renovations, such as replacing water heaters, painting interiors, and cleaning carpets to prepare the homes for the new owners.
The program works by selling homes at below-market prices and ensuring they remain affordable through a deed restriction. Potential homeowners qualify for inclusion in the program by having a combined family income at or below 120% AMI (Area Median Income), being first-time homebuyers, and fulfilling a homeownership education and coaching requirement.
Reina Miyamoto, executive director of the nonprofit Hawai‘i HomeOwnership Center, said the nonprofit HHOC Housing and Land Trust program was established three years ago to give workforce families a new opportunity to purchase their first home. Miyamoto added the Nareit Foundation grant is making the purchase of the six homes more affordable by paying for essential costs not covered by public funding.
“We appreciate how the Nareit Foundation has joined our mission to provide sustainable, stable, and affordable homes to first-time buyers, and how this strengthens the credibility of what we are striving to achieve for Hawaii’s families,” Miyamoto said. “This $25,000 grant is the largest we have received from a private entity, and we are hopeful this will encourage more community-minded benefactors to support our commitment to have more workforce families become homeowners.”
Gladys Quinto Marrone, executive director of Nareit Hawaii, said the HHOC Housing and Land Trust’s innovative strategy to create homeownership opportunities complements perfectly what the Nareit Foundation stands for. “Hope for a better future is at the core of what every family wants and it all begins with having a safe, secure and affordable home to call your own,” Marrone said. “The dedication and diligence of the HHOC Housing and Land Trust to have families become homeowners is remarkable. It's a privilege to offer our support knowing how important this is to keep a family together.”
Joining in the recognition of the HHOC Housing and Land Trust was Jan Yokota, vice president of Hawaii Real Estate Services for The RMR Group. Along with REITs in Hawaii, The RMR Group donates to the Nareit Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) organization, through the Nareit Hawaii Community Giving Initiative to support affordable housing programs provided by nonprofit organizations.