On July 11, a measure to allocate a historic one-time infusion of funding to address the housing needs of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act was signed into law by Gov. David Ige.
Following its unanimous passage by both Senate and House legislative chambers, HB2511, now known as Act 279, provides $600 million to DHHL to develop thousands of new homestead lots throughout the state.
The funding will also allow DHHL to leverage its federal funding and trust assets to expand housing services to beneficiaries, including the possibility of down-payment assistance, rental subsidies, and expanded financial literacy education.
Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā Jr. described the signing at Washington Place as “the most consequential allocation of funding for the implementation of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in its 100-year history.
“Sufficient funding to develop the raw landholdings of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust has been elusive for decades,” said Chair Ailā. “Today’s signing marks a turning of the page from this dark past to a brighter future for Native Hawaiians.”
In May, the Hawaiian Homes Commission authorized a Permitted Interaction Group Committee to work with DHHL staff to create a strategic plan for consideration by the full Hawaiian Homes Commission. DHHL and the commission’s Permitted Interaction Group are developing a strategic plan due to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature by Dec. 10, 2022.
DHHL will send homestead lot offers and opportunities for housing services through the U.S. Postal Service. Applicants on the DHHL Waiting List who have not received mail from DHHL in the last four years should contact the Department immediately to update their contact information.