Extreme Home Makeover recipients make $225K

The first episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition‘s fifth season this fall will feature a couple who collectively make more than $225,000 a year.

Theresa “Momi” Akana “earned more than $100,000 in a year as the head of the nonprofit organization she founded, and her husband is in a position that usually pays more than $125,000 a year,” The Honolulu Advertiser reports. He “is a senior vice president at First Hawaiian Bank,” and she also gets “$22,000 in annual rent from” her nonprofit for the use of part of their house.

Akana runs the Keiki O Ka ‘Aina Preschool, which “operates more than 40 traveling preschools and specializes in native Hawaiian cultural programs,” and says the show did a financial background check on her. The show’s executive producer, Denise “Cramsey[,] said the show tries to assist people of all walks of life, who run into hardships.” Akana’s previous home–the new home was brand-new and built in a new location–”was damaged by flooding in 2004,” according to the Advertiser.

A spokesperson for Akana’s organization said, “This show is based on the decade of service that Momi has done for our community. I’m positive that this show is not based on need.” The paper says that “Akana initially balked when Keiki O Ka ‘Aina’s board of directors wanted to to give her a raise in 2005 because she felt the money could be put to better use by the organization,” according to the spokesperson.

Brookfield Homes, which assisted in the build, issued a press release that the paper quotes, which said “Momi and her three children attempted to make their own improvements to their home, they never had the money or the expertise to complete anything properly, so the house is a series of unfinished construction projects. … Brookfield Homes Hawai’i contributed our resources to help make a dream come true by building a home for a deserving family and a community center for the children of Hawai’i.”

The episode debuts Sept. 23.

‘Makeover’ home recipient earns $100K [The Honolulu Advertiser]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.