Hawaii's cost of living is incredibly high and, as spotlighted in recent media reports, a lack of affordable housing plays a major role in the state's teacher shortage crisis and high turnover rate.
Landed is a new program that provides up to half of the down payment (as much as $120,000 per family) on a home for educators, in exchange for repaying the loan and a 25 percent share in the gain (or loss, if any) of the value of the home once it is sold or refinanced within 30 years. You may have seen some news coverage about the program, since the Landed group held a news conference Tuesday morning, April 30.
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"The HSTA welcomes any effort to help educators, however this option may only work for a very small percentage of our members," said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee. "We will continue to fight for better wages and benefits to ensure teachers don't need financial assistance to afford a home."
Several bills supported by the HSTA to help provide Hawaii educators affordable housing died at the legislature this year.
Like any tool, the down payment assistance program has to be right for the job. Some educators may choose this option if the alternative is not being able to purchase a home at all. The program may cost more in the end, compared to mortgage insurance if the value of the home significantly increases.
Down payment assistance is not a long-term solution. Teachers who choose to work with Landed should discuss this option with a trusted expert to ensure it is the best option given the circumstances. When purchasing a home, the Hawaii State Teachers Association advises members to research all loan options and make an informed decision that works best for them.
Disclaimer: HSTA is not endorsing this program but wants to give our members information so they can make informed decisions affecting their family finances.
Landed is hosting a series of information sessions for interested HIDOE employees in mid-May.
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