Housing Opportunities are Possible for Everyone

Tips on Affordable Housing Opportunities

March 2020 - New affordable housing project opens in McCully

Mohala Mai, a 30-unit single-room occupancy project located on Citron Street, is aimed to help single parents. Rent ranges from $700 to $750 per month, or about 50 percent of the area’s median income, for units with a refrigerator and sink. Every floor features a community room with a full kitchen, as well shared laundry and bathroom facilities for a communal living environment.

February 2020 - Who is ALICE?

ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. In Hawai'i, 48%* of households are ALICE and below. Aloha United Way plays a pivotal role in forging partnerships with community providers, educators, corporations, and government officials to identify opportunities for collaborative solutions and building strategies that improve the financial stability of ALICE families and their communities. 

REALTORS® understand that attainable and safe housing is a critical piece for kama’aina to flourish with financial stability, which in turn, improves our communities. Learn more about the challenges faced by ALICE households from The United Way ALICE Report – Hawai’i.

January 2020 - Affordable rental applications available

Applications for 53 renovated, affordable units from the Kanekapolei Collection, part of the Lilia Waikiki project, are being accepted through February 14, 2020. Download application packages now or pick up beginning Jan. 13 at the leasing office on the second-floor lobby of Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger.

To qualify, residents must earn less than 80% of Honolulu’s median income ($67,500 for an individual, $77,150 for a couple, $96,400 for family of four). Units will be reserved for qualified tenants for 30 years. Monthly rental rates: $1,406 one-bedroom apartment or $1,852 for two-bedrooms.

December 2019 - Up to $10K for low to moderate income, first-time homebuyers

The new statewide Down Payment and Closing Cost (DPACC) Program is a 15-year deferred loan (up to $10,000) with NO interest and NO monthly payments for low to moderate income (up to 120% AMI), first-time homebuyers. Funds can be used towards the down payment, closing costs (including rate buy down), or a mixture of both.


  • First-Time Homebuyer Education classes must be completed through Hawaii HomeOwnership Center (HHOC)
  • Available through HHOC Mortgage and 10 other local pre-approved mortgage lenders
  • Borrowers agree to use the property as their primary residence and sign a yearly occupancy affidavit
  • Up to $10,000 loan, which must be matched by savings up to 4:1 basis and based on an AMI percentage formula*

 *Special restrictions apply, call HHOC Mortgage or your preferred local lender for more details.

November 2019 - Hawaii Housing & Finance Development Corporation’s (HHFDC) website has great information on statewide affordable rental housing. Generally, City & State Affordable Rental Housing communities target those between the 30%-80% Area Median Income (AMI) but can you can also learn what communities are available who serve the elderly, families, to people with special needs. You’ll also find contact information for the managing agent where more specifics can be sought and applications submitted. Go to HHFDC website and scroll down to Affordable Inventory for the list of rental communities.

October 2019 - HCDA updates website

Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) has updated its website to provide better resources to REALTORS® and the community. Go to HCDA website to learn more about things like:

  • What steps owners of a Reserved Housing Unit must take when working to refinancing their home.
  • What steps owners of a Reserved Housing Unit must take when selling their home.

September 2019 - New HOPE course on Affordable Housing offered by HBR

HBR is pleased to announce that our new course, HOPE: Navigating Affordable Housing Options has been approved for 3 elective CE credits by the Real Estate Commission. This class is a great way to be educated and informed about the various affordable housing programs to better assist your buyers and sellers. Schedule of classes

August 2019 - HHFDC Affordable Housing Presentations

Learn about the benefits of HHFDC’s (Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation) affordable housing program, the eligibility requirements, and get the latest information on the new Ililani development, a 328 unit condominium in Kaka’ako that will have 163 market priced units and 165 units offered as Affordable Housing units under HHFDC guidelines to owner occupants who meet the eligibility and income requirements. Anticipated pricing for 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom affordable units will range from $312,600 - $657,100.

Ililani Presentation will be held on at the Ililani Sales Gallery in Honolulu at 1311 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 104. More info.

July 2019 - New funding available for down payment assistance

July 1st marked the start of the City’s new fiscal year and with that comes at least $1M in funds available for the City & County’s Down Payment Loan Program as well as increased income limits (that changed on June 29, 2019). This C&C program allows first-time homebuyers to borrow up to $40,000 at 0% interest amortized over a 20-year term. More info.

June 2019 - Housing Choice Voucher for First-Time Homebuyers

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) first-time homeownership program allows individuals and families who are assisted under the HUD program to use their monthly Section 8 subsidy to buy a home. Mortgage lenders under this HUD-FHA program will recognize the HCV subsidy as part of the buyer's income qualification. Furthermore, qualified homeowners will continue to receive monthly assistance in meeting homeownership expenses. 

There were 39 HCV homeownership enrollments in the state of Hawaii in 2017. To participate in this program, the HCV participant must 1) meet specific income and employment requirements (the elderly and disabled individuals do not have to meet the employment requirement), 2) be a first-time homeowner, and 3) satisfactorily complete a pre-assistance homeownership & housing counseling program required by the local Public Housing Authority. 

Find your Local Public Housing Agency and more info on homeownership assistance programs here.

May 2019 - The Honolulu City & County Down Payment Loan Program offers a zero interest loan up to $40,000 amortized over 20 years to assist homebuyers who fall below the 80% Area Median Income or AMI (based on their household size). There is no loan fee and at the end of each year that a borrower makes their payments, an additional year's worth of payments owed are forgiven. At the end of 10 years, half of the loan has been forgiven. More info can be found at www.honolulu.gov/dcs - Department of Community Services - Housing - Loan Programs for Homeowner webpage.

April 2019 - Learn more about the City's Rent to Work Program

C&C of Honolulu Dept. of Community Services offers rental assistance and support services to those experiencing homelessness.

More info  |  Program brochure

March 2019 - HUD issues new FHA Condo Rules  

New Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidance on condo financing give affordability a boost. The rules, issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), take effect on October 15, 2019. These changes allow more buyers to qualify and obtain low down-payment mortgages.