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Assets Hawaii



Prior to the formation of the Ho`owaiwai Network, members of the network worked as a loose group of individuals, groups, organizations and agencies on issues related to asset building. In 2004, a core group of members started to organize and advocate around policies that help families and communities build and save assets. In 2007, the group increased its membership and successfully introduced an asset-building policy package to the Hawaii State Legislature. At the same time, members started to push for asset-building policies at the local and federal levels. Since then, asset-building policies have gained awareness and momentum at the local, state, and federal levels.

Legislative Victories

Over the past several years, Network members have achieved a number of strong legislative successes, including:

  • Grant-In-Aid to establish Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the state.

  • A study conducted by the auditor’s office to analyze regulating predatory and payday lending.

  • Funding for Section 8 and Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) homeownership programs to help families transition off rental assistance directly into homeownership.

  • Exempting FSS escrow accounts that help families buy homes from benefit eligibility tests.

  • Establishment of a self-sufficiency standard by the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to create and maintain a self-sufficiency standard for Hawai`i.

  • Splitting of state tax refunds so taxpayers have the option to split their tax refunds into up to three checking or savings accounts to assist them with saving and building their assets.

  • Establishment of a State Asset Building and Financial Education Task Force that explored asset policy strategies focused on: financial education for public and private sector employees and in K-12 grades in schools; asset limits; and universal children’s savings accounts.

Other initiatives that the network has worked on include: a refundable state earned income tax; eliminating asset limits in Medicaid; expanding IDAs; creating universal children’s savings accounts; establishing microenterprise funding; creating a self-employment assistance program; assisting with down-payment loan assistance; increasing support for family self-sufficiency and section 8 voucher programs; and funding federal earned income tax outreach.

Copyright © 2012 Ho'owaiwai NETWORK
c/o Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED)
677 Ala Moana Blvd, Suite 702, Honolulu, HI 96813

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