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A Community Investment

By Gwen Yamamoto Lau
President of Hawaii Community Reinvestment Corporation

For the majority of our 22-year existence, HCRC has concentrated its business on helping to create and preserve affordable housing throughout Hawaii. Operating “under the radar” at times, it is important to know that over the past two years we have evolved as a community development financial institution.

Gwen Yamamoto Lau

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Gwen Yamamoto Lau

We provide long-term, below market rate permanent loans for multifamily rental projects housing low- and moderate-income families and seniors, as well as offer consulting, technical assistance and training for developers.

With our expanded mission, we also assist small-business owners with below-market, long-term financing of fixed assets. HCRC is an approved Certified Development Company authorized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). As an SBA 504 lender, we partner with local lenders to provide small businesses with up to 90 percent financing to purchase fixed assets including commercial real estate (e.g., industrial, office, retail), large equipment and even photovoltaic solar systems.

Our community development work has been focusing on clean energy. Under a contract with the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, HCRC launched its innovative GreenSun Hawaii (GreenSun) program in late October 2011, which provides participating lenders with a credit enhancement in the form of a loan loss reserve. To further expand our impact in this area, we are partnering with Blue Planet Foundation and the Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations (HANO) to create an affordable financing program for nonprofits. This public-private partnership will enable nonprofits to install energy-efficiency retrofits and renewable energy solar systems.

As a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) corporation, we seek to creatively leverage unconventional resources outside of existing bank lending products. We are not here to compete with the banks but to fill gaps by offering untapped options. Visit hcrchawaii.org or call 532-3110.