Hawaii is the least affordable state in America. The cost of food, childcare, housing, and transportation are all well above the national average, meaning that even Hawaiians who have stable incomes – including teachers and school staff – have a hard time saving money quickly enough to buy a home.
Many of these families earn slightly too much money to qualify for below market rate housing but still don’t earn enough to buy a home on their own. Teachers and staff who find themselves in this circumstance are more likely to consider quitting education as a profession or leaving Hawaii to move to the mainland; and unfortunately, many of them already have. Hawaii ranks first in the nation for teacher turnover rate, and this school year, Hawaii has 1,200 teacher vacancies to fill (up 200 from last year). Leaders in the school system and teachers union have highlighted housing as one key factor contributing to the shortage, with the top reason for teachers resigning in 2018 being the cost of living in Hawaii.
Our team knows that building financial security is a difficult process, especially in an expensive region like Hawaii. The journey to homeownership requires an educational, financial, and emotional support system, and our hope is that we can be a partner for schools and their teachers on this journey. As of today, we are offering all public school and Kamehameha Schools employees in the state of Hawaii access to up to $120,000 in matching down payment support to help buy a home.
We are proud to launch our program in Hawaii as a partnership with the Hawaii Executive Conference and as a component of the Hawaii Community Foundation’s CHANGE framework. This groundbreaking initiative brings together public, private, and nonprofit sectors to focus on six essential areas that affect the well-being of all Hawaiians: Community & Economy, Health & Wellness, Arts & Culture, Natural Environment, Government & Civic Education, and Education. The CHANGE framework highlights that these issues are all interconnected, and while Landed falls within the Education focus area, the leaders of the initiative believe that helping educators own homes will help all Hawaiians.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be hosting a series of informational events to engage directly with educators across all major islands in Hawaii. If you’re an educator in Hawaii, please sign up below – we would love to meet you in person! If you’re not an educator in Hawaii, but you know someone who is, please share the news of these upcoming events:
- May 13 - Kauai: Kauai High School
- May 14 - Honolulu: Farrington High School
- May 14 - Windward Oahu: Castle High School
- May 15 - Central Oahu: Mililani High School
- May 15 - Leeward Oahu: Kapolei High School
- May 16 - Maui: Maui High School
- May 17 - Kona: Konawaena High School
- May 17 - Hilo: Waiakea High School
We look forward to seeing many of you soon. Mahalo!