$750,000 Affordable Housing Grant Awarded in Pahoa

last updated on Friday, April 19, 2019 in Community News

(Pahoa, HI) –Hawaii community housing partners celebrated with a $750,000 housing grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines) Competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) on Wednesday, April 17. The grant was presented by FHLB Des Moines to Honolulu-based housing partner Affordable Housing and Economic Development (AHED) Foundation to assist their efforts in preserving 32 units of safe and affordable housing for the Pahoa community. First Hawaiian Bank, the state’s largest bank and a member financial institution of FHLB Des Moines, supported AHED Foundation’s grant request, the only AHP request submitted and recognized in the state of Hawaii in 2018.

AHED Foundation will use the funds to rehabilitate their Nani O Puna Apartments, a 32-unit apartment complex offering units in one to three bedrooms. Located outside of Hilo, on the island of Hawaii, Nani O Puna, is an important part of rural Hawaii. The acquisition and preservation of this property provides the opportunity to participate in the revitalization of downtown Pahoa and to preserve an important affordable housing asset for long-term occupancy.

Nani O Puna project has addressed a strong need for affordable housing for farm workers and rural residents of Pahoa since 1976. With the property being over 40 years old with decades of deferred maintenance, there are major and current physical needs that need to be addressed. With this award, Nani O Puna will be renovated, preserved and continue to provide seriously needed affordable housing to families with low and very low incomes.

FHLB Des Moines returns 10 percent of its net income annually to assist with housing needs throughout its district, consisting of 13 states and three U.S. Pacific territories. Since the inception of the program in 1990, FHLB Des Moines has awarded $18.9 million for housing in the state of Hawaii to benefit more than 2,410 homeowners.

"Through these grants, our member financial institutions and non-profit partners are providing families and individuals in need with affordable housing opportunities," said Mike Wilson, president and CEO, FHLB Des Moines. "That housing, in turn, lends strength to communities in the state of Washington and beyond. These housing needs are met through the work of local lenders who partner with FHLB Des Moines to provide these important dollars without taxpayer funding."

AHP dollars are an important form of gap funding for a variety of projects, as the grants are often combined with other federal and local dollars.