Affordable housing and homelessness are two of the toughest problems Hawaii faces. A new non-profit is aiming the resources of homebuilders at these challenges. PBN editor in chief, A. Kam Napier, has more.
HomeAid America is a national non-profit that formed a Hawaii chapter just two years ago, and represents landowners, developers and construction companies . This week, PBN caught up with HomeAid Hawaii’s executive director Nani Medeiros. As Medeiros tells us, HomeAid’s national CEO, Peter Simons, is originally from Hawaii. Simons was a legislative aid for Sen. Daniel Inouye in the 1980s then worked for Hawaii developers and property managers, such as Castle & Cooke, before moving to the Mainland.
And it was Simons who approached the industry locally to see if there would be interest in a HomeAid chapter here. There was. On the board are representatives from such companies as Alexander & Baldwin, Howard Hughes, EAH Housing, Stanford Carr, Castle & Cooke and the Building Industry Association – Hawaii.
The non-profit is funded by private donations, starting with a seed grant from the Ward Village Foundation. It’s getting ready for its first fundraiser, too, aiming to raise $200,000. It is essentially a B2B operation. HomeAid exists to help other non-profits that themselves specialize in solving homelessness and affordable housing by building or renovating structures. What HomeAid offers is financial aid and especially, access to tradespeople who will do the work at a substantial discount. Nationally, HomeAid chapters save other non-profits 50 cents on the dollar for such work. Here, where construction costs are some of the highest in the nation, Mederios says HomeAid has been able to save non-profits 90 cents on the dollar.