Maui News

$75,000 Grant Providing 3 Molokaʻi Families with Roof, Bathroom & Even a New Home

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  • With grant funding from Nareit Hawaiʻi Community Giving Initiative and volunteer labor, a two-bedroom, one-bath home is being built for Molokaiʻ couple Amber and Kawika Kaahanui to own, and start a family. Photo Courtesy: Nareit Hawaiʻi
  • Molokaʻi Baptist Church received a $75,000 grant from the Nareit Hawaiʻi Community Giving Initiative. (L-R): Louise Manley, Pastor Randy Manley of Molokaʻi Baptist Church, Malia Bentley, Amber Kaahanui, Kawika Kaahanui, State Sen. Lynn DeCoite and Nareit Hawaiʻi Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone. Photo Courtesy: Nareit Hawaiʻi
  • Through the Molokaʻi Baptist Church’s Aloha in Action program, Malia Bentley will receive a new roof with a 30-year warranty to replace the badly leaking roof over the home she lives in with her three children. Photo Courtesy: Nareit Hawaiʻi
  • The Nareit Hawaiʻi Community Giving Initiative provided the $75,000 grant to Molokaʻi Baptist Church in Hoʻolehua. Photo Courtesy: Nareit Hawaiʻi

The Nareit Hawaiʻi Community Giving Initiative granted $75,000 to Molokaʻi Baptist Church for its Aloha in Action program to help three families with special housing challenges.

The church will use the funds to purchase housing materials, with community members providing volunteer labor for the three projects:  

  • A disabled, single mother Malia Bentley, who has three young children, is receiving a new roof with a 30-year warranty to replace the badly leaking roof currently covering the family’s home on a Hawaiian homestead lot. 
  • A single mother with two children and a grandchild living with her will have a bathroom and septic system installed. The home currently has no bathroom, with the family having to use bathroom facilities at the church. 
  • A small two-bedroom, one-bathroom home is being built on a vacant Hawaiian homestead lot young couple Amber and Kawika Kaahanui to own and start a family. 

Molokaʻi Baptist Church Pastor Randy Manley said the $75,000 grant from the Nareit Hawaiʻi Community Giving Initiative is the largest grant ever awarded for its Aloha in Action Program to provide home refurbishment and building projects for Molokaʻi residents. 

“Opportunities are limited on Molokaʻi to receive charitable funds to help families with housing needs,” Pastor Manley said. “We are all very excited about earning this wonderful grant from Nareit Hawaiʻi because it enables us to accelerate these housing projects and get these essential improvements done soon. Without Nareit Hawaiʻi’s support, it would have taken us many months and possibly years to raise all of the funds necessary to help these families with their housing needs.” 


The Nareit Hawaii Community Giving Initiative was formed three years ago to support affordable housing projects provided by nonprofit organizations. To date, the charitable organization has awarded more than $1-million in grants throughout the state. 

Nareit Hawaiʻi Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone said this grant to the church was due to donations from Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which are long-term property holders that own, renovate and manage affordable housing projects, commercial buildings, medical facilities, shopping centers, cell phone towers, public storage facilities and hotels in Hawaii. 

“The Aloha in Action program is an inspiring example of how a community comes together with volunteer labor and a commitment to make homes better and safer for families to live in and raise children,” Marrone said. “Having a good roof over your head or being able to use your own bathroom are basic essentials that everyone deserves to have in their home. We are extremely proud to support these types of community-driven, family-oriented housing initiatives that are taking place on Molokaʻi.”

Taking part in today’s grant presentation was State Sen. Lynn DeCoite, who represents the interests of communities and residents across four islands in Senate District 7, comprised of Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, and Kahoʻolawe. 


“It is heartwarming to see how the Molokaʻi Baptist Church and its Aloha in Action program is utilizing this generous grant from Nareit Hawaiʻi to provide life-changing support to these families on Molokaʻi,” Sen. DeCoite said. “I applaud all of the volunteers for stepping forward to give of their time and how these projects will give these families a renewed strength that will make our beloved Molokai stronger.”

Pastor Manley said: “We are always proclaiming hope to our island. The benefits that this grant brings gives us a tremendous sense of hope in providing these families needing help with the most basic of needs, good, safe housing here on Molokaʻi.”

Applicants Sought for Affordable Housing Grants in 2022:

The Nareit Hawaiʻi Community Giving Initiative encourages other qualified organizations in Hawaiʻi to submit applications to be considered for grants supporting affordable housing projects in 2022. 


Applicants should be implementing projects that provide affordable housing for sale or rent. Grant funds are not intended for planning and will only go to organizations with “shovel-ready” projects or to make land purchases for such projects. 

All applicants must fill out the electronic application form found on the Nareit Hawaiʻi website at and submit it via e-mail to [email protected].

For more information about REITs in Hawaii and the Nareit Hawaiʻi Community Giving Initiative, please visit


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