Congratulations to Section 8�s
20 Homebuyers in Honolulu

This single parent and proud homeowner moved into her two-bedroom condo in Kaneohe last September, with a sound credit rating, savings in the bank, and a gift from her father. Lani J. couldn't be happier

Across the island in Nanakuli, Mata and Robyn and their two children are all smiles. Now they reside in a three-bedroom house in Nanakuli. It's a far cry from the crowded abodes they've shared in recent years.

These new homeowners are just two of 20 homeowner success stories of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program of the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Community Services.

Since 2003, as participants in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) and/or the Homeownership Option Program (HOP), they have purchased six single family dwellings, four townhouses, nine condominiums, and one, 6-unit, multi-family dwelling. Twelve of the 20 are "subsidy free" and receive no assistance from Section 8. The remaining eight receive monthly Section 8 subsidies that range from $239 to $917.

Twelve of the homeowners were enrolled in the Family Self-Sufficiency program. Four of these participants accrued FSS escrow money which they used towards their down payments. The average household income of these homeowners is $29,170. They were able to qualify for mortgage loans ranging from $77,000 to $295,000 to purchase homes which ranged in price from $92,000 (Self-Help House in 2003) to $338,000 (Single Family House in 2008).

City officials credit their partnerships with Aloha United Way's Individual and Family Self-Sufficiency Program, Alu Like, Inc., American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu Rehabilitation Loan Branch, Hawaii Homeownership Center, Hawaii National Bank, Hawaiian Community Assets, Honolulu Board of Realtors, Self-Help Housing Corporation, Territorial Savings Bank, and USDA Rural Development. The services enabled participants to have the expert counsel that they needed to embark on this often frustrating but still exciting homeownership adventure.

Said Ernie Martin, Deputy Director of the City's Department of Community Services, "Overall, our participants have worked hard to increase their income, establish and improve their credit histories, increase their savings, and learn all they could about buying and maintaining their homes. To date, we're proud that none of our families have defaulted on their mortgages, despite the hard times and high cost of living that everyone is experiencing."

The following is a summary of the accomplishments of the last five Homeownership participants who achieved the American Dream in Fiscal Year 2008.

[Photo 1: Lani in Kitchen]

September 29, 2007
Lani J., a Single Parent with 1 child.
$327,000 2 bedroom condominium in Kaneohe, Hawaii
In her 3 years of HOP Participation, she:

  • Completed Financial Literacy and Homeownership Training
  • Improved her credit history, from no credit history to good credit history, by taking out a secured loan and paying on time.
  • Increased her savings balance from $0 to $1,000
  • Secured down payment gift funds from a family member.
[Photo 2: Robyn, Kason, Mata and Travis Smiling]

January 28, 2008
Mata and Robyn T. , 2 Parent Family with 2 children
$338,000 3 bedroom house in Nanakuli,, Hawaii
FSS Graduate: July 1, 2007
In 4 years of FSS /HOP Participation, the family:

  • Increased Annual Household Earned Income by $5,884.
  • Completed On-the-Job Training for Career Advancement
  • Received $2,275.62 in FSS Escrow Funds
  • Saved an additional $6,329 in personal funds for down payment
  • Uses only Public Transportation to decrease living expenses
  • Improved Credit History, from no credit history to good credit history, by using credit cards but paying balance in full every month
  • Completed Financial Literacy and Homeownership Training
[Photo 3: Harrilyn's New Townhouse]

April 15, 2008
Harrilyn C., a Single Individual
$191,000 Studio Townhouse in Waipio, Hawaii
FSS Graduate: June 1, 2007
In 5 years of FSS/HOP Participation, she:

  • Increased Annual Household Earned Income by $29,692
  • Earned Certification as a Child Care Specialist
  • Received $20,300.33 in FSS Escrow Funds
  • Saved an additional $11,462.67 in personal funds for down payment
  • Improved Credit History by Repairing Credit & Remaining DEBT FREE
  • Completed Financial Literacy and Homeownership Training
[Photo 4: Helen, Tero and Baby Tomita]

May 15, 2008
Tero and Helen S., 2 parent family with 2 children
$180,000 2 bedroom condominium in Kalihi, Hawaii
FSS Graduate: November 1, 2007
In 2 years of FSS/HOP Participation, the family:

  • Increased Annual Household Earned Income by $34,077
  • Completed Forklift training for career advancement
  • Received $1,797.42 in FSS Escrow Funds
  • Saved an additional $2,966.00 in personal funds for down payment
  • Improved Credit History by paying all bills on time
  • Completed Financial Literacy and Homeownership Training
[Photo 5: New Plantation Town Apartments]

August 1, 2008
Byron C., a Single Person
$195,500 Studio condominium in Waipahu, Hawaii
In his 4 years of HOP Participation, he:

  • Completed Financial Literacy and Homeownership Training
  • Maintained his good credit history by using credit cards and paying the balance in full every month
  • Increased his savings balance from $0 to $2,000
  • Secured down payment gift funds from a family member.

 
Content Archived: August 19, 2011