OHA’s Kanaaho Grants Provide Direct Support to Beneficiaries


Kanaaho Grants support Maui’s recovery journey

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) launched the OHA Kanaaho Grant last month, April 10, to provide critical support to homeowners and renters in the wildfire impact zones of Lahaina and Kula. The grant assists those adversely affected by the Aug. 8, 2023, Maui wildfires, offering much-needed relief during these challenging times. In Hawaiian, kanaaho translates to a feeling of relief after a struggle.

The application period opened on April 10, 2024, at the OHA Maui Office and online. Approximately 60 individuals came in person and another 200-plusapplications were submitted online.

“We understand the significant challenges faced by our community members in Lahaina and Kula as they recover from the impacts of wildfires,” said OHA Chair and Maui Trustee Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey. “The OHA Kanaaho Grant is designed to provide direct support to our beneficiaries in their recovery journey.”

Photo: Kanaaho Grants Volunteers

Wildfire survivors who resided in the wildfire impact zones are advised to collect their documentation to streamline their application process. Applicants may apply online at www.oha.org/kanaahogrant or in person at any of the OHA offices across the pae ‘āina through Oct. 10, 2024.

OHA’s Kanaaho Grants are be distributed to individual renters/homeowners who meet all the eligibility criteria.

On Sept. 6, 2023, the OHA Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve the distribution of $5 million in emergency disaster relief funds to kōkua Native Hawaiian beneficiaries affected by the fires on Maui. Trustees have been working in cooperation with Native Hawaiian leaders on Maui to assess needs to inform the thoughtful deployment of funds to provide the largest impact to recovery efforts. The OHA Kanaaho Grant represents the first distribution of relief funds from OHA.

The $5 million commitment of funds is one of many actions OHA has taken to provide support to Maui wildfire victims. Other initiatives OHA has undertaken to kōkua include the distribution of $2 million in housing vouchers and gift cards with the charitable nonprofit Global Empowerment Mission. OHA also donated use of its warehouse in Hakuone to organize, store and deploy supplies to Maui as needed, and raised more than $100,000 with community partners via the Wiwoʻole Maui Benefit Concert.

For more information on the OHA Kanaaho Grant and OHA’s other Maui wildfire relief efforts, please visit: www.oha.org/mauirelief.