Patty Chaney and Liam Ball have seen firsthand the intangible benefits of owning a home. “Home ownership provides stability for families,” Chaney said. “It also provides a sense of pride and a sense of belonging in this community.”  

That’s one of the reasons why Chaney, a Realtor®-Broker with Island Sotheby’s International Realty, and Ball, a Realtor®-Broker with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, serve on Habitat for Humanity Maui’s board of directors.

“Patty and Liam are amazing board members,” said Habitat for Humanity Maui Executive Director Sherri Dodson. “Patty has been on the executive committee for several years. We rely heavily on her for her real estate expertise. We have purchased our first building to relocate our office and store and she was amazing. She explained everything to the board so everyone was clear on the purchase and also got us a great deal.”

Ball, who serves as the chairman of the organization’s family selection committee, also brings his real estate expertise to the table—along with something else. “He brings his compassion for all people,” Dodson said. “He is definitely a champion for each of our clients. His excitement for the process, and of course, the end result, is contagious.”

Chaney joined the board three years ago after volunteering for two years as the liaison between Habitat for Humanity Maui and RAM. “My job was to sign up teams from our RAM membership and have them volunteer to spend a Saturday helping the future homeowner and Habitat for Humanity Maui build that home,” she said.

Chaney credits former President Jimmy Carter—a longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity—for inspiring her to volunteer for the organization. “He inspired me years ago and continues to do so,” she said. “As a Realtor®, working with Habitat for Humanity Maui doesn’t feed my pocketbook, but it provides fuel to my soul.”

Twenty years ago, Habitat for Humanity Maui became an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. At first, the fledgling affiliate did several renovations and worked to spread the word about Habitat’s vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. Then, in 2003, Habitat for Humanity Maui built its first house—bringing six people directly out of homelessness and into a decent home.

Since then, the nonprofit organization has sold homes to low-income families—those that are between 25 and 80 percent of the median income for Maui County—at a no-interest and no-profit basis. Habitat for Humanity Maui abides by the principle that people need a hand up, not a hand out; therefore, every client is required to attend homeowner education classes, as well as budget and credit counseling sessions. “The ability to own a home in Hawaii is getting increasingly difficult with the continual rising cost of real estate. Habitat for Humanity International provides assistance to those who have good credit, but with today’s home values, can’t afford to buy home,” Chaney explained. “There is more than one way to assist a prospective homeowner.”

And there is more than one way to support Habitat for Humanity Maui. The organization welcomes individuals and businesses to partner with them by volunteering or making a donation to help end homelessness and substandard housing. Residents and businesses can also donate their leftover residential building materials and overstocked, discontinued merchandise to Habitat for Humanity Maui’s ReStore (which resells new and slightly used construction and remodeling materials to the general public at 50 percent or below retail). These donations not only benefit the organization, but also divert usable materials from the landfill. 

To commemorate 20 years of building, repairing and renovating affordable housing on Maui and Lanai, Habitat for Humanity Maui will host an anniversary party fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. The “construction chic-themed” event will feature dinner, dancing, casino games (each attendee will be given $100 worth of “funny money” chips), live entertainment and music, a live and silent auction and door prizes. Habitat for Humanity Maui will also honor its former board members and volunteers who have helped the organization build and renovate homes over the years.

“They are going all out, so it will be an absolute blast,” Chaney said. “And it’s an opportunity to support a terrific organization.”

Tickets are $195 per person and event sponsorship opportunities are still available. Funds raised will help support the construction of 10 single-family homes in Lahaina. For more information about Habitat for Humanity Maui’s 20th anniversary party, or to learn more about donor or volunteer opportunities, call 242-1140 or visit

By Sarah Ruppenthal

The Maui News – August 19, 2017

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