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Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Aiona Proposes HOPE for Renters to Build Equity
By News Release @ 9:49 PM :: 7703 Views :: Republican Party, Cost of Living

Aiona Announces Innovative H.O.P.E. Affordable Housing Program

News Release from Aiona Campaign October 8, 2014

Gubernatorial candidate Duke Aiona announced a ground-breaking affordable housing solution: H.O.P.E. (Home Ownership Personal Equity) Affordable Housing Program. Aiona is once again the only candidate to have released any detailed solutions so far this election, which is already a break from the status quo his opponents continue to perpetuate. Aiona makes cost of living a top priority and this program is another key piece to a statewide solution.

“This model hasn’t been implemented in the nation, much less in the state of Hawai‘i,” exclaimed Aiona. In fact, it’s a locally-developed innovative concept that directly addresses the needs of residents who suffer the worst cost of living and housing expenses in the nation.

The creative concept is a collaboration of local developers, builders and financiers who have been a key part of Aiona’s affordable housing focus group. Two team members — Peter Savio of the Savio Group and Jay Iranon of Swinerton Builders — were both on hand as Aiona released the policy initiative to the local media.

“It’s not about the developers making money, it’s not about anything other than helping the people and changing the future,” said Peter Savio, “Bringing stability to our communities.” Savio expanded that point by adding, “I have better tenants who take better care of the property because they’re not tenants any longer but tenant-owners. Yes, I’m giving away value but also some of my expenses associated with vacancies and wear-and-tear.”

As Aiona stated clearly, the H.O.P.E. program will not require tax dollars or legislative approval: it can be done by the governor within existing laws. “This should not be a partisan issue,” Aiona concluded, “It’s a compelling case that all people should be able to support for our Hawai‘i.” 


Q: What does H.O.P.E. stand for?

A:  Home Ownership, People’s Equity.

Q. How many people will this help?

A. A projected average of 5,200 per year will be able to participate.

Q: What will the Governor’s Office do to support this initiative?

A:  Duke Aiona will support this through the commitment of streamlining the approval process, challenging the private sector to partner with the State and identifying state lands and/or existing properties, Hawaiian Homelands or private sector lands that could be developed for the incubator rental housing.

Duke Aiona will also consider offering this opportunity within State-run housing projects without displacing existing tenants.

Duke Aiona will also partner with non-profit housing and possibly provide possible new tax incentives, including eliminating GET on rents within these projects so community-owners build equity faster.

Q. What do Community Owners have to agree to?

A. Community owners agree to stay in the unit for a certain amount of time in order to create community and stability within the property. 

Community Owners also agree to maintain the property as they would if they owned it and pay rent on time.

Additionally, Community Owners will be expected to participate in home ownership and financial management education programs which will better prepare them for owning their own home.

Q. Who provides mentorship to Community Owners

A. Local partners and developers mentor and provide education opportunities to Community Owners.

Q.  How do Community Owners earn equity?

A:  This is a unique rental program that essentially acts as a layaway program for future housing. The longer renters stay and the more they pay in rent, the more equity builds in their account for a down payment.  

A sample of how tenants earn equity is:

Monthly Rent

Monthly Developer Maintenance Fees

Number of Years Tenant Pays at Initial Rate

Down Payment Account Balance





















Q: What happens to the renter’s equity if they leave Hawaii or pass away?

A: The rental equity maybe with withdrawn only for the purposes of purchasing a home on the open market. Should a Community Owner pass away during their term, the equity is transferable to the next generation for purposes of home ownership.

Q: What happens to equity if a person leaves the program?

A: The equity is equally redistributed to others within the program.

Q. Why would a developer do this?

A.  The developer benefits because s/he continues to gain equity on the rental property while having reliable, stable tenants. 

Q. Can Community Owners make additional payments towards their equity?

A. Yes, Community Owners are encouraged to either save separately or add to their equity through additional payments. ​


Star-Adv: Aiona backs move to let renters build equity


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