COVID-19 Mortgage Relief for Homesteaders

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Department of Hawaiian Home LandsAmid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hawaiian Homes Commission took swift action to deliver financial relief to many of its lessees. At an emergency meeting on March 24, the Commission approved the postponement of mortgage payments for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands direct loans.

The meeting was held via teleconference due to travel restrictions and social distancing measures, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

With the approval, all applicable payments may be deferred for up to six months, effective with the April 2020 payment. Loans qualified under the deferment include DHHL Direct Loans or loans assigned to the Department. An easy way to determine if a lessee qualifies for this program is if the loan payment is made payable directly to DHHL. There is no application process to enroll in the deferment period and borrowers will continue to receive their monthly loan statements from the Department.

William J. Ailā, Jr.- Photo: Courtesy

In a statement, Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman William J. Ailā, Jr. noted that the agency could already foresee long-term economic impacts on the homelands resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak and stressed the need to act quickly.

The Commission’s action affects over 1,200 direct loans with the Department.

DHHL beneficiaries who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but have mortgages from a private institution should contact their lender as soon as possible. A DHHL private mortgage could be with HomeStreet Bank, Bank of Hawai‘i, VA, a local credit union, or other lenders.

Through the United States Government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, homeowners with government-guaranteed mortgages are eligible for loan forbearance for up to one year without fees, penalties, or additional interest. Private mortgages on Hawaiian Home Lands would qualify for this assistance.

For information about DHHL loan deferrals, lessees should call (808) 620-9500. If a beneficiary has a loan with an outside lender, the Department encourages you to contact your provider as soon as possible.

Learn about COVID-19 impacts on DHHL activities by visiting dhhl.hawaii.gov/covid-19.