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Ho`owaiwai Blog

The Free Tax Assistance Program at HACBED

Jul 19, 2012

Description:
Free Tax Assistance is aimed at those for whom paid assistance may be out of reach or just too expensive. Free Income Tax Assistance is available for low-income individuals, individuals with disabilities, non-English speaking taxpayers, and the elderly. In addition, the program assists individuals who qualify for the earned income tax credit and other credits. For more info visit, http://www.hawaiitaxhelp.org/

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Ford Institute Leadership Program is now recruiting!

Jul 6, 2012

Description:
For an application, CLICK HERE!
To download the flyer announcement, CLICK HERE!
For FAQ, CLICK HERE!
For additional details go to:  http://www.tfff.org/Institute/TheFordInstituteLeadershipProgram/tabid/89/Default.aspx

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Kokua Kalihi Valley is now hiring for their Community Economic Development Program!

Jul 6, 2012

Description:
Position: Community Capital Coordinator Essential

duties: Coordinating KKV’s Community Economic Development Program, which aims to enhance self-sufficiency and sustainability for the Kalihi Valley community.

Responsibilities will include:
• Managing KKV’s microenterprise sewing project,
• Coordinating ESL classes in conjunction with agency partners, • Managing a showcase space for community-based economic development initiatives, and
• Developing additional opportunities to increase economic self-sufficiency in ways that honor and uplift our community’s cultures.

The Family Strengthening Coordinator will play an important role in strengthening community networks and increasing the resources available to the Kalihi Valley community by linking KKV to external partners and linking program participants to new opportunities. On a broader level, this position will enhance Kalihi Valley’s community capital, uplifting existing strengths and fostering not only economic but social, human and ecological forms of wealth.

Qualifications: Candidates must demonstrate excellent organization, communication, and program management skills. Knowledge of community-based economic development and the ability to work with a multi-cultural staff and community are required. Experience in vocational training, business management, marketing and/or working with small vendors is preferred. Bachelor’s degree in related field required, Master’s degree preferred.

ORGANIZATION: Kokua Kalihi Valley (KKV) is a non-profit Community Health Center that was founded 40 years ago to promote healing, reconciliation and the alleviation of suffering in Kalihi Valley. Voted one of the Best Places to Work in 2011 and 2012, KKV provides a comprehensive array of health care and social services to Kalihi Valley’s predominantly low-income, Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant population. Our 160 diverse staff work together toward the vision of a healthy community in which neighbors help to heal neighbors, and individuals see themselves as part of a larger whole, connected to each other, to their culture and to their shared land.

To learn more about KKV please visit http://www.kkv.net. To apply or for more information, please email jobs@kkv.net

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How Hard Is Poverty Hitting Your County?

May 24, 2012

Description:
Check out this online interactive map that tracks poverty rate changes from 2007 to 2010.
If you don’t have time, the text below is from the companion article that explains the outdated methods of measuring poverty, and offers some asset building policy suggestion. This is all part of Frecia’s asset building initiative at Hawai'i County!

How Hard Is Poverty Hitting Your County?
A map of changes in poverty, county by county.
By Andy Hull, Nick McClellan, and Troy K. Schneider
Posted Friday, May 18, 2012, at 9:00 AM ET

It’s hardly news that the Great Recession pushed millions of Americans into poverty. In 2010, “poverty” meant having an income of less than $22,113 for a family of four; 15.1 percent of Americans were below that line. As this map shows, some areas of the country fared worse than others between 2007 and 2010. While some counties saw their poverty rates increase only slightly, and some even saw them drop, the number of people under the poverty line in Oregon’s Malheur County doubled to nearly two-fifths of its population. And those “bright spots” that appear as dark blue? Look closer—a full 6-point improvement in South Dakota’s Ziebach County still left more than one-half its residents below the poverty line. And even the poverty rate itself understates the privation in the country.

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Foreclosure Prevention Program Report from Hawaiian Community Assets!

Apr 10, 2012

Description:
Click here to download the full report.

Report Cites Reduced Household Income, High Housing Costs, and Subprime Loan Products as Barriers to Sustaining Homeownership in Hawaii  

HAWAII – In a Foreclosure Program Report released in April, HUD approved housing counseling agency, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), has cited reduced household income, high housing costs, and subprime loan products as barriers to sustaining homeownership in Hawaii. The Report, which includes client data on 90 Hawaii homeowners HCA served with National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program funding between May 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011, found that said homeowners had an average monthly household income of $5,486 with an average monthly mortgage payment of $2,679, representing, on average, 49% of borrowers’ monthly income. The Report goes on to highlight that 56% of HCA clients who received foreclosure prevention counseling services held subprime loan products, such as option ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages), interest-only, and interest-only option ARM hybrid mortgages.  The data reflects a sustained 4-year trend reported by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2008, in which, subprime loans represented 55% of all foreclosure starts in the nation while, at the same time, representing only 22% of the total market share of mortgage loans.  Showing the true impacts of such risky loan products on our Hawaii homeowners, one HCA client saw her option ARM loan reset causing her mortgage payment to increase from a spike in her interest rate from 5.25% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) to 15.95% APR in one month. “Our Hawaii homeowners already find themselves in a highly competitive housing market,” says HCA Executive Director, Jeff Gilbreath pointing out the large gap between Hawaii’s median home price ($521,500, US Census Bureau) and annual average pay rate of the State’s residents, which ranks last in the nation ($24,203, Corporation for Enterprise Development).  “While the Report identifies key trends our families face when struggling to sustain homeownership, it also provides us with the data necessary to establish effective, community-specific solutions to prevent foreclosure and keep the dream of homeownership alive.” Reinforcing the connection between the State’s high housing costs, low pay rates, and barriers to sustaining homeownership, the Report confirms that 68% of Hawaii homeowners who received HCA foreclosure assistance cited loss of a job or reduction of income as the primary reason for mortgage delinquency.  Another 12% of clients identified increases in expenses, including mortgage payments, as second most common reason for delinquency followed by decline in health and marital issues (10%). With a goal of addressing barriers to sustaining homeownership, a series of recommendations are contained in the Report, including, principal reduction for families with reduced income, subprime mortgage loans, or increases in the amount of their mortgage payments; greater refinance options for both current and delinquent homeowners; a concerted public education campaign on consumer protection to combat predatory loan scams; and targeted HUD approved housing counseling with a primary focus on streamlining work out solutions between homeowners and servicers and enrolling individuals in free asset building and micro-lending programs.

For more information contact HCA at 1.866.400.1116 or email info@hawaiiancommunity.net.

  Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) is a nonprofit HUD approved housing counseling agency and Community Development Financial Institution that builds the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians.  HCA’s philosophy supports permanent housing, culturally-relevant financial education, and asset building programs to achieve its mission.

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HAWAII AMONG WORST STATES IN NATION ON TAXING THE WORKING POOR

Apr 10, 2012

Description:
Unlike most states, Hawaii taxes working-poor families deeper into poverty, and it charges them higher tax bills than all but four other states, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Hawaii should help working families work toward the middle class rather than undermine their efforts with steep tax bills,” said Phil Oliff, policy analyst at the Center and co-author of the report. “When people strive to better themselves and the lives of their families, not only do they benefit, but the state’s economy grows stronger and all Hawaii residents are better off.”Hawaii charges families of four with incomes at the poverty line $331 in income taxes, higher than all but two other states. Hawaii is one of only 15 states to tax such families at all. The federal poverty line is $23,018 for such families. Hawaii is one of only 10 states that taxes families of three who are living at or below the national poverty line. Its tax at the poverty line is $258. The poverty line is $17,922 per year for such families. Download pdf for more info or go here for online press release.

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STARBUCKS CARD: VOTE.GIVE.GROW!

Mar 27, 2012

Description:
Here's how: Starting Sunday, April 1st VOTE for HACBED by going to VOTE.GIVE.GROW. and help support the efforts of the Ho'owaiwai Network by giving HACBED a chance to win $50,000!

All you need is a Starbucks card.  Register it online and vote for HACBED once a week every week in April for our chance to win!

Help us spread the word!  Help the Network to grow and help our local community thrive!

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Hawai'i's Role in World-Wide Awakening!

Mar 19, 2012

Description:
Redefining wealth and community from native perspectives. Come join us for a talk with Manulani Aluli Meyer on March 29th from 7:30am-9am Fuller Hall YWCA, 1040 Richards Street in Honolulu. Parking at Ali'i Place, entrance on Alakea. See flyer for more info or e-mail hoowaiwai@hacbed.org.

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Submit testimony today!

Mar 12, 2012

Description:
HB1840 & HB2685 and SB2947 are being heard tomorrow. Submit your testimony today!

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REBUILD THE DREAM- Van Jones @ Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda

Mar 20, 2012 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Description:
REBUILD THE DREAM: Join Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream will present a platform for bottom-up, people powered economic solutions to promote sustainable agriculture, state banks, and affordable education.

Come for an evening of engaging discussion and music!

March 20th from 6-9pm

Click here for more info!

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Statewide Ho'owaiwai Network Meeting! March 9th, 2012!

Mar 9, 2012 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Description:
Come join us for the next statewide meeting of the Ho'owaiwai Network as we discuss planning for the Network's 2012 Symposium, update you on the policy priorities for this session, and discuss the creation of Island Networks, as well as updating folks on happenings from Network members throughout the state. Please CLICK HERE to register for the meeting at Tokai International College. We look forward to seeing you there!

________________________________________
Reminders: If you have not yet been able to fill out the Psychographic Survey for Spend Safe.ly, please CLICK HERE to do so.

If you would like to include your program or service into the growing database to help pilot test Resources Match, please CLICK HERE. We have started piloting on Hawai'i Island and will soon be launching near you! More info to follow.

--MAHALO

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FREE online screening of the Economics of Happiness!

Feb 21, 2012

Description:
Free Online Screening and Discussion- The Economics of Happiness February 22nd at 4pm Join speakers from the upcoming Economics of Happiness conference for an online discussion with audience Q&A on February 22nd, 2012. Featuring Helena Norberg-Hodge, Charles Eisenstein, and Manish Jain. Time: The Economics of Happiness film starts at: 4pm HST (Feb. 22) 9pm EST (Feb. 22) Log-in Instructions: 1) Go to: http://www.globalpreneurs.com/trainingtimes.php 2) Enter a name and a city/country in the 'name' box 3) Enter broadcast id: 935-167-1656 4) Enter your e-mail address 5) Click 'Join broadcast" The Panelists: • Helena Norberg-Hodge is producer and co-director of The Economics of Happiness film, as well as director of ISEC. • Charles Eisenstein is the author of The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics. • Manish Jain is founder and coordinator of Shikshantar, The People’s Institute for Rethinking Education and Development in India.

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20th Annual Nā Pua No‘eau A Hawaiian Family afFair!

Feb 13, 2012

Description:
Click HERE for the registration form for the Na Pua No’eau Hawaiian Family afFair, which will be held on March 3rd at UH Hilo. The goal of the event is to provide a fun day focused on the education, health, and well-being of our island families. If you know of any organizations who share the goal of a safe and healthy community for all our families, please feel free to forward this along. Mahalo nui!

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Come find out about Lemonade Alley!

Feb 10, 2012

Description:
We wanted to invite you and anyone interested to hear Steve Sue and his Team talk about Lemonade Alley (www.lemonadealley.com). Lemonade Alley is hands on, teaching tool for kids K-12 to learn about financial literacy and business entrepreneurship while having fun. We are hosting this event at ING Direct Cafe on Friday, February 17th from 5:30p - 7:30p. Let me know if anyone can attend. We look forward to seeing all of you next week. Email: jomori@ingdirect.com for more info!

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Wayne Tanna talks about FREE tax help and savings incentives on Hawai'i News Now!

Feb 10, 2012

Description:
Please see below link to access the video from Hawaii News Now: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/16696774/wayne-tanna-professor-chaminade-university Please pass the message along!

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Super Vitamins for Public Programs

Feb 6, 2012

Description:
For your interest, please see this pdf for an exciting piece produced by our esteemed Cities for Financial Empowerment colleague from New York City. This was featured in the Wall Street Journal last month about the effect of financial empowerment as a “supervitamin” for public programs.

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Press Release - Report Identifies Housing Barriers and Solutions for Hawaii Families At-Risk of Homelessness

Feb 6, 2012

Description:
February 3, 2012 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Report Identifies Housing Barriers and Solutions for Hawaii Families At-Risk of Homelessness WAIANAE, HI - On January 23rd, HUD-approved housing counseling agency, Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA) unveiled an Annual Project Report providing an overview of the first 12 months of the organization's 3-year, $3.1 million project funded by the Administration for Native Americans and Office of Hawaiian Affairs to increase the transition rates and long-term financial success of individuals and families residing in transitional shelters on the Waianae Coast.

According to the report, HCA provided housing education and counseling services to 148 individuals residing at 3 targeted transitional shelters. On average, individuals who received at least 8 hours of financial training and counseling, increased their income by $232, decreased their debt by $1,618, and improved their credit scores by 261 points.

In addition, HCA facilitated focus groups with individuals and families residing in the shelters to outline key barriers and solutions to their housing situation. Participants identified increasing the number of affordable housing units in the State as the primary solution that will allow for transition into permanent housing for families experiencing homelessness.
Key Findings of the report include:
* The primary barriers to housing were identified as 1) Income and 2) Credit.
* A disproportionate percentage of Native Hawaiians reside in transitional shelters on the Waianae Coast (59% at targeted shelters) than reside in Hawaii (22%) or the Waianae Coast (27%).
* 9 of 10 unemployed project participants rely on public benefits to prevent homelessness.
* The average annual pay rate of project participants is $997.45/month, or $12,050.26 annually, which is less than the State's poverty level threshold.
* Employed project participants would have to work 120 hours per week, or 3 full-time jobs, for 52 weeks to secure and sustain a 1-bedroom rental at Fair Market Rent for Honolulu County.  
* 75% of project participants, who authorized HCA to pull their credit report, have a credit score that would make them ineligible to qualify for public housing.
* 95% of project participants, who authorized HCA to pull their credit, would be automatically disqualified to simply enter the lottery for a rental unit in an upcoming private, affordable housing development due to insufficient credit and/or income.
For more information contact HCA at 1.866.400.1116 or via email at info@hawaiiancommunity.net .

Hawaiian Community Assets is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and Native Community Development Financial Institution that builds the capacity of low- and moderate-income communities to achieve and sustain economic self-sufficiency with a particular focus on Native Hawaiians. Our philosophy supports permanent housing, culturally-relevant financial education, and asset building programs to achieve our mission.

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Spend Safe.ly Survey- We need your help!

Feb 2, 2012

Description:
To better inform our our asset building initiatives, HACBED, with the help of a few partners, created a psychographic survey that is designed to capture collective attitudes, values, and employed practices involving: cash management and spending, personal and family savings, and familiarity with social networking media and mobile technology. Please feel free to widely distribute this through your networks as we would like to gather as robust a sample size of data as possible. Once we have compiled and analyzed the responses, we will share highlights and provide general overviews. We may potentially allow your respective entities to review and analyze the broader data for the purposes of improving your own services and activities. Following is the link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N5B5FD3) or click below to access a PDF version of the survey. Please use whatever format is easiest for you. If you end up completing hard copies based off of the PDF version, please send the completed surveys with the consent form on the first page signed to: HACBED 677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 702 Honolulu, HI 96813 or fax to 808-534-1199. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to email Brent Kakesako at bkakesako@hacbed.org. Mahalo for your help!

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Take Action on Local Policies for Hawai'i's Working Families!

Feb 2, 2012

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Save the Date!

Feb 1, 2012

Description:
Come join us in Honoka'a for the next gathering of the Ho'owaiwai Network- Hawai'i Island. RSVP for the meeting here: http://planetreg.com/E2113595922

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