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Native Hawaiian farmers encouraged to apply for new program

By Staff | Aug 6, 2021

Hawaiian Community Assets is working to build the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.

The 501(c)(3) nonprofit, HUD-approved housing counseling agency and community lending institution is now aiming to fill a critical need in the community with a new financial assistance program for Native Hawaiian farmworkers.

Maui County farmers are encouraged to apply and receive practical help in a variety of areas.

Through the program, Native Hawaiian farmers will receive free tools and training from HCA’s certified counselors.

Tools include career coaching, assistance with monthly budget planning, childcare finance match and more — all designed to help farmers qualify for financial assistance.

“Native Hawaiian farmworkers are typically underserved when it comes to finding financial support and opportunities,” said HCA Executive Director Jeff Gilbreath.

“We intend to change that with our goal of reaching 100 farmworkers in the next two months.”

Among other possible benefits, applicants to the program may get help to qualify for rental and mortgage loans, access loans up to $100,000 for home buying costs (income and other program restrictions apply), qualify for up to $11,500 in grant funds for home purchase, and learn about HCA’s grants for first month’s rent/deposit up to $4,000.

The Native Hawaiian Farmers program is open to all ages statewide, and the deadline to register is Sept. 30.

The program is part of a series of targeted plans that HCA offers for renters, homeowners, families and now farmers.

To apply, call HCA toll-free at (866) 400-1116 or visit www.hawaiiancommunity.net.