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“I was born and raised in Oahu. I lived there all my life until this past February, when I moved to Arizona with my husband and 6-year-old daughter. We left Hawaii to get ahead in life financially. My husband had a great job working construction, making $26-$60 an hour, depending on the job site. We had so much debt from living paycheck to paycheck and were never able to save and move forward.

We were both working but not being able to enjoy life due to the extreme high cost of rent and utilities. I never imagined leaving the place I love and called home, but enough was enough; we got tired of worrying about whether we could afford our apartment.

“In Hawaii, we could never think of owning a home, but here in Arizona we actually have a chance to be able to buy a home. As hard as it was to leave Hawaii, we knew we had to do better for our daughter.”

Ashlynn Sakaria
Surprise, Arizona
Former resident of Waipahu, Oahu