OHA ANNOUNCES DISASTER RELIEF PACKAGE FOR KAUAʻI AND HAWAIʻI COMMUNITES

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs today announced a relief package of emergency loans and $500,000 in aid for Native Hawaiians impacted by the natural disasters on Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island.

“Our deepest aloha goes out to the people whose lives have been turned upside down by these natural disasters,” said OHA Chair Colette Machado. “What is being announced today is just the first phase of OHA’s assistance to our beneficiaries on Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island. We will continue to work with these communities to understand their ongoing needs, and we also will be developing initiatives that provide longer term assistance.”

At a meeting this morning, the OHA Board approved $500,000 in disaster relief aid that will include funds for one-time, financial assistance to qualified Native Hawaiian households on both islands and qualified kalo farmers on Kauaʻi, and funds to address other health-related issues caused by the eruptions on Hawaiʻi Island.

The elements of the disaster relief package were based on specific requests from the Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi communities. Kauaʻi and Niʻihau Trustee Dan Ahuna led a team of OHA staff on a site visit in May to assess damages sustained by the Native Hawaiian communities in Wainiha and Hāʻena. In addition, Hawaiʻi Trustee Robert K. Lindsey Jr. and island staff have been in constant dialogue with community leaders to gauge the needs of those affected by the lava.

“We mahalo the many in our community, from the individuals to the grassroots organizations, who came forward immediately to provide kōkua to those in need,” Ahuna said. “Our community has thrived through crisis before because we always come together. We understand that our role here at OHA is to follow the lead of the community and provide assistance as appropriate.”

Trustee Lindsey also recognized the community-driven relief efforts on Hawaiʻi Island.

“I have so much aloha for the many who just showed up, rolled up their sleeves and helped,” said Lindsey. “In these times of uncertainty, it’s comforting to know that your neighbors are always here for you.”

Disaster Relief Loan Program

In addition, OHA’s Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund (NHRLF) Board of Directors yesterday approved a new disaster relief loan. Native Hawaiians experiencing a loss as a result of the disasters are now eligible for loans of up to $20,000 at four percent interest with up to six months of deferred payments. Loans may be used for home improvement, vehicle repair or replacement, or business stabilization.

The NHRLF was established in 1985 and funded and overseen by the federal Administration of Native Americans. OHA administers NHRLF and the fund currently has $15 million available to lend.

In addition, OHA administers a separate consumer micro loan program that provides low-cost loans to Native Hawaiians experiencing temporary financial hardship due to unforeseen events. Loans of up to $7,500 with a five percent interest rate can be used for unexpected home or auto repair and emergency health situations.

For information about these loans,  visit loans.oha.org/disaster-relief, email NHRLF@ohaloanfund.org or call (808) 594-1888 .

Accessing OHA’s Relief Aid

The emergency proclamations Gov. David Ige signed for Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island will allow OHA to expedite contracting with vendors to provide these relief services. OHA is in the process of securing vendor contracts for Kauaʻi. Meanwhile, intake forms for flood relief assistance are currently available at www.oha.org/kauai and can be submitted to OHA starting on June 12 at OHA’s Kauaʻi office located at 4405 Kukui Grove St., Suite 103 in Līhuʻe.

OHA staff will be accepting intake forms and providing information on our relief aid efforts at several events on Kauaʻi next week, including the Kauaʻi Flood Relief Resources Fair on June 16 at Hanalei Elementary School.

OHA is in the process of securing vendor contracts for Hawaiʻi Island. Meanwhile, intake forms for lava relief assistance are currently available at www.oha.org/puna and may be submitted to OHA starting on June 12 at OHA’s Hilo office located at Wailoa Plaza, Suite 20-CDE, 399 Hualani Street. The completed forms will be forwarded to vendors once they are selected.

Impacted beneficiaries may visit www.oha.org/kauai and www.oha.org/puna for information on the agency’s disaster relief efforts, including intake forms for relief assistance, upcoming resource events and other updates.

OHA Mālama Loans on Hawaii News Now Sunrise on the Road

OHA Mālama Loans are helping Hawaiians entrepreneurs like Puna and Ola Trip, the owners of Liquid Life juice bar in Kea’au. Mahalo to Hawaii News Now for having our OHA Loan Manager Timmy Wailehua and the Trips on Sunrise during the 2018 Merrie Monarch Festival to let other entrepreneurs know about the low-interest loans available to support their business growth.

MĀLAMA LOANS HELPS NOHOKAI GROW ITS FLEET

Nohokai Production Services received a third loan on February  8th, 2018 for $100,000 to expand his fleet by 75 carts.

Since its start in 2005, Nohokai has grown to include approximately 200 golf carts, enough to be able to rent out several 30-cart fleets at a time. The company also has 30 off-road vehicles and 30 generators. Production crews from all the major networks, productions such as “Hawai‘i Five-O,” and “Jurassic World,” as well as festival organizers have turned to Nohokai for their needs.

“We have the largest fleet, so nobody can touch us as far as doing what we do,” Colin said.

Nohokai Production Services receives their third loan for $100,000

On February 8, 2018, Nohokai Production Services received a third loan for $100,000 to expand his fleet by 75 carts.

A Mālama Loan from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs helped Colin grow his company. “We used the money to buy more golf carts to expand the fleet,” which happened to be the new Golf Channel requirement, Colin explained. “They were expanding and they needed more cameras and they needed more carts to get the cameras around, so it was a good fit.” Now Nohokai can offer its services even when there is very high demand, Colin says. For example, when one fleet needs to be shipped to Maui for a golf tournament at Kapalua, carts are still available for
events on O‘ahu.

Colin advises other Native Hawaiian entrepreneurs to consider Mälama Loans. “It’s very helpful, especially with that interest rate, and it’s xed, too,” he said. He recommends that people get their business plans together in advance. Once that’s taken care of, the application process is quite easy, he said.

To learn more about Nohokai Production Services, read their success story or visit their website.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has helped more than 2,000 Native Hawaiian families with low interest loans to build businesses, repair homes and take care of educational expenses. For more information about OHA’s Mälama Loan Program, visit our business loan page.

O‘AHU: VISIT OHA LOAN FUND OFFICE

The Office of Hawaiians Affairs is committed to ensuring Native Hawaiians and their ‘ohana have access to resources to assist them in pursuing their financial goals. The OHA Loan programs can provide Native Hawaiians with an improved sense of economic well-being and self-sufficiency. Through these loan programs, Native Hawaiians have expanded businesses, improved homes, consolidated debt and continued their education.

Come visit us at Nā Lama Kukui at 560 North Nimitz Highway, Suite 205A in the Iwilei area of Honolulu.

The office is open from Monday thru Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Walk-ins and appointments are welcome. Payments and documents can be dropped off in our drop box located on the outside of our office..

We can be reached at  (808) 594-1888 or NHRLF@ohaloanfund.org