First and foremost, the entire SCHHA team and leaders statewide pray for the health and safety of all of Hawai‘i’s people during this global pandemic.
As the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act (HHCA) serving the interests of native Hawaiian families, SCHHA has focused its attention on immediate solutions to pandemic challenges.
One of the most notable problems is the reality of overcrowded and multi-generational families on the homesteads. Prior to the pandemic, it was certainly an inconvenience; a statistic supporting a greater push on the state to issue thousands more in homestead awards. Since the pandemic, it has become far more than an inconvenience. It has become an acute revelation of danger to elders, to high-risk family members, and to the ability of family members to self-quarantine at home.
SCHHA leaders, along with staff at its nonprofit arm, the Homestead Community Development Corporation (HCDC), developed a COVID-19 response loan product to issue capital to families to enable them to install 10×12 foot self-quarantine units on their homestead lots. The Homestead Unit Self-Quarantine (HUSQ) program provides between $2,000 and $7,500 in capital, with loan payments ranging between $90 and $183 per month. Payments don’t start until 60 days from closing to help families get the capital upfront to purchase materials, hire labor, and furnish the units to protect elders and family members during the course of the pandemic.
“I was raised on homesteads,” said Faisha Solomon, HCDC Deputy Director and an enrolled SCHHA member “I don’t know many families in my homestead that wouldn’t benefit from a simple unit, whether its used now to keep family members safe, and next year to be a hobby or sewing room, or for fishing equipment.”
HCDC has raised $250,000 from fund investors locally and nationally for HUSQ to get capital into the hands of homestead family members to install the units in backyards. Solomon continued, “None of our kūpuna should be exposed to such a devastating disease just because there isn’t a simple and functional 10×12 unit right across the yard.”
More than 40 inquiries from across the islands were received in the first five days since the HUSQ program was launched, pushing the non-profit team to get capital issued to families with the ‘know-how’ to purchase materials to build their own, or who need additional capital to hire a carpenter.
“This is not the time for ‘no can,’” Solomon said. “This is the time to lean in, and to create self-quarantine units with affordable payments to serve our families long after the pandemic has been beat.”
For information on HUSQ, contact Rolina Faagai, HCDC Loan Fund Manager at email@example.com.