Categorized | Government, News

County sponsors a Family Financial Empowerment Day in Hilo Saturday (April 9)

MEDIA RELEASE

The County of Hawai’i invites Hawai’i Island communities to attend the Family Financial Empowerment Day in Hilo on April 9th from 10am to 2pm, at the County Building. No-cost tax preparation and one-on-one counseling services will be offered, as well as information on SNAP, Childcare and Housing assistance.

Today, Hawai‘i residents face significant life challenges:

  • 25% of Hawai’i County Household lives in asset poverty;
  • 25% of Hawai’i County Household are enrolled in food stamp program (SNAP);
  • 54% of Hawai’i County Residents have subprime credit scores;
  • 49% of Hawai’i County homeowners are cost burdened (pay more than 30% of their income); and
  • Hawai’i has one of the lowest annual wages and highest living cost in the nation.

According to RealtyTrac, Hawai’i Island reports a total of 2,535 family homes going through foreclosures. Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service has reported that over $40 million in tax credits went unclaimed by Hawai`i families in 2008-09.

The Family Financial Empowerment Event will provide the opportunity to help local families claim earned income tax, child tax, and education credits, mobilize resources to address foreclosure and receive free credit counseling, begin financial planning for post-secondary education and learn about credit protection, bankruptcy, and unemployment resources.

This event was offered at the Kohala Intergenerational Center in February, and in March, at the West Hawai’i Civic Center.

“I came [to the event] because members of my family want to go to college, and college costs a lot of money,” said Jeffrey Coakley from Kapa`au. “After sitting down with the FASFA specialist, I found out that this was possible. It’s a financial relief to know that [my son] can go to college.” “We appreciate the help. It’s a one-stop-shop!” said Deirdre and Jason Ahsing from Kapaau. “The counselor from the Hawaiian Community Assets changed my perception on loan modification and how it benefits my credit” said Christina Numazu from Waimea.

This event is sponsored by the County of Hawai’i, Department of Research and Development, in partnership with the Ho`owaiwai Asset Building Network members and the Hawai`i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED).

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