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Governor signs legislation to support home ownership

By Staff | Jul 4, 2013

“This bill will make owning a home more than just a dream for many island families,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “Home ownership strengthens families and builds communities. It also fosters economic prosperity and generates economic growth, which benefits us all.”

HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie last week signed Senate Bill 1025 to make home ownership more accessible to Hawaii households by updating the Hula Mae Single-Family Mortgage Loan Program and broadening eligibility.

Part of the governor’s legislative package, SB1025 (enacted as Act 135) updates the Hula Mae Single-Family Mortgage Loan Program to allow broader participation by potential single-family homeowners, especially for eligible borrowers’ principal residences.

It also adds down payment, closing cost and other assistance as a program feature and makes various housekeeping and conforming amendments. The act took effect on July 1.

In 1979, the Hawaii Legislature authorized the Hawaii Housing Authority to fund the mortgage loan program to assist low- and moderate-income home buyers.

Since then, the legislature has authorized the issuance of revenue bonds in an aggregate principal amount of $2.2 billion to fund this program.

As of June 30, 2012, $1.8 billion in single-family mortgage purchase revenue bonds have been issued, providing eligible first-time home buyers with mortgage loans at below market interest rates.

Also since then, the Hula Mae Single-Family Program has helped more than 10,000 families purchase first homes.

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation now administers the program. Home buyers apply directly with participating lending institutions, which review eligibility and qualifications for a Hula Mae loan.

Loans currently made under the program are securitized by the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Government National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.