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What Makes Us Strong

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Our Founder


The accomplishments of Nānākuli Housing Corporation stem from the vision of a generous woman who possessed a loving spirit, a fierce intellect and a passionate determination to empower the Native Hawaiian community.


Paige Kawelo Barber was raised on the ​ Nānākuli Homestead. As the eldest of nine children, Paige saw firsthand how the security of owning a home helped with a family's stability and prosperity. She realized that empowering her community began with ensuring all of it's members had the opportunity to experience the security and prosperity that comes with being a homeowner. 


Her desire to give back to both her community and her people was a powerful motivator and resulted in the creation the Nānākuli Housing Corporation which offers programs on financial literacy, home ownership counseling and self-help home repairs. Today Hawaiian families living on Hawaiian Homestead lands across the state, own their homes thanks in a large part to Paige, her vision and her commitment to empowering her people.


"Each day is truly precious."

Advisory Board

Tom Zizzi,



Rochelle Kawelo,
President - Waianae Hawaiian Civic Club

Papa O Na Luna...
Board of

George Ka'eo, Sr.,


Uncle George passed away in 2019.

The Acting Chairman is

Mervina Cash-Kaeo 


Patricia K. Brandt,

Vice Chair


Mervina Cash-Ka'eo,

Treasurer/ Acting Chairman
Director - ALU LIKE

Kamuela Anderson

Project Executive

- Kiewit Building Group


Leatrice Kauahi
Retired Banker


Jason Martinson

Aera Manager - Loan Depot


"In Deepest Gratitude."

Malia Craver, Dennis Kauahi,
“Cuddles” King
Malia Craver, Dennis Kauahi, & Louella “Cuddles” _ Supporters of Nānākuli Housing Corporation (NHC)

In ancient times, our ancestors carried heavy loads over long distances with the help of a koʻokoʻoʻ a long strong stick. They attached their heavy loads to both ends of the ko’oko’o and placed the koʻokoʻoʻ over their shoulders. Lifting their heavy burdens with the balanced support of the koʻokoʻoʻ over their shoulders, they were able to walk from the mountains to the ocean, probably taking foods such as kalo (taro), ʻuala (sweet potato), and ʻulu (breadfruit). From the ocean, they loaded up with various types of fish, seaweed and urchins and took this upland to their village. The koʻokoʻoʻ helped our ancestors fulfill their kuleana (responsibilities) to their families.


Kuleana is a very important part of our lives, for we are indeed responsible for the health and well being of our families just as our ancestors were many years ago.  As they passed on their knowledge to future generations we too aspire to pass on these cultural practices and values.  The koʻokoʻoʻ enables us to do this, to share the values of kuleana, ʻohana, lōkahi, kōkua and so many other cultural practices handed to us by our ancestors.  NHC is very grateful to Aunty Malia Craver, Dennis Kauahi, and Louella “Cuddles” King of Queen Liliʻuokalani Children’s Center for sharing the lessons of kuleana through the koʻokoʻoʻ.



The Office of Hawaiian Affairs

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

The Department of Human Services

Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center

Habitat Leeward

Friend of Hawai'i Charities


The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Homestreet Bank

Administration for Native Americans


Aloha United Way

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

NeighborWorks of America

Kupuna Katherine Maunakea
Kupuna Katherine Maunakea _ Supporter of Nānākuli Housing Corporation (NHC)

Kupuna Katherine Maunakea lived in the community she loved … Nānākuli.  Although she passed on many years ago, she left us with so many precious gifts such as oli (chant) and pule (prayer).  She was an outstanding master of lauhala weaving.  Her personal stories about life in Nānākuli and raising her family are treasured by those of us fortunate enough to have known her.  She was a mānaleo, one whose first language was Hawaiian, and through this language she shared those special stories to ʻõpio or young people, who were eager to gain her special manaʻo, wisdom and insight.  Indeed many of these young people are kumu kula today … teaching school in our native language.


Kupuna Maunakea helped link us modern-day Hawaiians with the past and opened the door for us to better learn and appreciate our cultural traditions and values.  Since many of us were not raised with this connection to our past, her willingness to share helped shape those values we consider vitally important to our sense of place and of just who we are.

Indeed, Nānākuli is our birthplace.  Yet, just as our ancestors traveled far beyond their birth lands thousands of years ago, we too have ventured beyond our beautiful Nānākuli shores.  And, just as Kupuna Maunakea has done for us, we are prepared to share our manaʻo, stories and experiences with you.


We honor Kupuna Maunakea for her aloha and support of our organization and the work we are privileged to provide our families.

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