Affordable Hawai‘i for All Fellows Support
The Housing Affordability Coalition (HAC) was established in November 2018 and was made up of individuals and organizations who advocate together for policies and best practices that advance housing affordability in Hawaiʻi. Three organizations provide support to this effort: Hawaiian Community Assets, Hawaiʻi Appleseed, and the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development. A planning year in 2019 led to the co-creation with participants of the following values:
- Willingness to arrive as people first and step into a shared commitment of housing for all
- Willingness to partner and build relationships with those most impacted by the issue
- Openness to diverse perspectives
- Openness to creative solutions that build community and are connected to ‘āina
An equally important part of the work was to support a group of individuals who have experienced houselessness or housing instability and are connected to communities severely impacted by the lack of affordable housing in Hawai‘i. These individuals began to meet regularly in June 2019 and also spent time joining HAC gatherings. In the group’s separate meetings these individuals discussed the topic of housing affordability in Hawaiʻi from their unique perspectives and eventually dubbed themselves the “Affordable Hawaiʻi for All” (AHA) Fellows.
The outlook for 2020 for the HAC included quarterly meetings for four teams as well as support to the AHA Fellows. The HAC teams included: Policy & Advocacy, Reciprocal Capacity Building & Co-Learning, Incubation & Acceleration of Housing Projects, and a broader Learning Group. But the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans and support pivoted to focus on the AHA Fellows. Thanks to the ongoing support from the Kresge Foundation, HCA, HACBED and Appleseed along with community members James Koshiba and Cathy Kawano-Ching, facilitate regular meetings and training sessions to ultimately support the project ideas that the AHA Fellows have to address housing affordability issues in their communities as informed by their experiences.
HACBED’s role has been to provide convening, facilitation, recording, synthesis, and follow-up support to the AHA Fellows and the supporting organizations and individuals on a consistent basis. As projects and planning continue to evolve and change, HACBED works to uplift the voices of the fellows to ensure the program is genuinely community-led.
To learn more about The AHA Fellows and their work, please visit their website: ahafellows.com