$525K released for Habitat programs

Gov. Linda Lingle on Monday released $525,000 in grants to Habitat for Humanity for its programs in Hawai‘i.

One grant for $250,000 includes $25,000 in subsidies for each of the organization’s seven homebuilding affiliates statewide and an operating subsidy of $50,000 to the Hawai‘i Habitat for Humanity Association headquartered in Honolulu. The second grant for $300,000 provides loans of $20,000 for 15 families across the state to purchase construction materials for their homes.

During the organization’s 20-year history in Hawai‘i, Habitat for Humanity has contributed to the construction of more than 200 homes for low-income families statewide. These grants-in-aid will assist Habitat for Humanity in carrying out its Homeless Prevention through Homeownership Campaign, which aims to build 200 additional homes in Hawai‘i over five years.

“By allowing more families to avoid homelessness and realize the dream of homeownership, Habitat for Humanity benefits the entire community,” Lingle said.

The $25,000 grants will be used by the seven affiliates to hire and maintain staff people who assist with family and site selection, family support and volunteer recruitment, as well as construction supervision. The affiliates are located in Kaua‘i, Honolulu, Leeward O‘ahu, East Hawai‘i, West Hawai‘i, Maui and Moloka‘i.

The $50,000 operating subsidy will be used by the Hawai‘i Habitat for Humanity Association, which administers grants and loans to each of the affiliates, in addition to providing public relations, public education, marketing and fundraising support.

The loans of $20,000 to 15 families will leverage approximately $60,000 per home in additional loans and grants covering construction costs. The average Habitat for Humanity house in Hawai‘i costs approximately $80,000 to build. Families receive a 20-year mortgage at zero percent interest, allowing them to repay their mortgages at a rate of approximately $300 per month. The loans from the grant-in-aid will be administered by the affiliate programs and go to families statewide.

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