Hawaiʻi Housing Affordability Coalition

The Hawaiʻi Housing Affordability Coalition is a statewide, multi-sector coalition to increase housing affordability for households earning $75k annually or less. Coalition members share collective values that include:

  • 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

The Coalition’s approach expands the conversation by bringing together community members; tenants and owners of affordable housing; housing advocates; representatives from existing housing coalitions, nonprofits and unions; and the health, education, finance, and philanthropic sectors. To support this approach, the Coalition maintains a database of housing terminology that can be used as a glossary, tool to on-board those who are new to the housing field, or resource for putting together housing content such as agendas and briefings. In addition, the coalition focuses on building the capacity of communities to create new solutions and builds the Coalition as a community. 

Milestones to date include:

  • January-December 2019: Funding secured from Kresge Foundation, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Bank of Hawai‘i Foundation and others to support a year of planning and laying the groundwork
  • January-May 2019: Shared legislative priorities identified for 2019 session and policy advocacy that helped result in $100 million investment in the Rental Housing Revolving Fund over the next 2 years and the Maui County Council doubling the amount of annual funds that will go into the County’s Affordable Housing Fund
  • January-December 2019: Community partnership building strategy implemented including more than 40 key informant interviews and 29 community meetings 
  • April 2019: Planning Committee strategic session conducted to identify draft goals, vision, and activities
  • August 2019: Learning group participants gave feedback coalition values and engaging with capacity building, incubating community driven projects, and policy and advocacy
  • December 2019: Housing Affordability Assembly attendees fleshed out the initial priority areas and related considerations for the three teams of the Coalition

Coalition activities for 2020 are organized around initial priority areas identified through stakeholder engagement, community partnership building, and a shared learning group. Each of the following teams will convene four times in 2020:

  • Policy & Advocacy Sharing & Support Team — Advocating together on housing affordability policy priorities; Building new political will for affordability that includes the voices of impacted communities
  • Reciprocal Capacity Building & Co-Learning Team — Creating a learning community to share knowledge and best practices to build shared capacity
  • Incubation & Acceleration of Housing Projects  — Incubating and accelerating creative community solutions to the affordability crisis; Producing homes that are affordable for households earning $75,000 annually or less 
  • Learning Group — A shared space to report back, build community, and address questions of structure and governance

In addition to the above teams, the coalition will continue to provide monthly support to Housing Affordability Fellows, individuals who are interested in becoming the next generation of community leaders who will foster change in the local housing market resulting in more affordable homes and communities.

The Hawaiʻi Housing Affordability Coalition is currently led by a Community Council consisting of Hawaiian Community Assets, Hawaiʻi Appleseed, HACBED, and Housing Affordability Fellows. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved, please contact any of the following individuals:

  • Lahela Williams (lahela@hawaiiancommunity.net)
  • Jeff Gilbreath (jeff@hawaiiancommunitynet)
  • Gavin Thornton (gavin@hiappleseed.org)
  • Brent Kakesako (bkakesako@hacbed.org)

HACBED’s role has been to support community partnership building and planning activities through coordinating convening spaces, facilitating dialogues, and following up with partners to continue the collective energy of the group.

To access the Coalition’s list of housing terminology, please click HERE.