Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

Let's Fulfill the Promise

This year, the Legislature is considering legislation (HB2511, HD1/SB3359, SD2) that would appropriate $600 million in much-needed and long-overdue funding to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to enable native Hawaiians to acquire residences. HB2511, HD1/SB3359, SD2 represent a historic step towards the State of Hawaiʻi fulfilling the promise it made when it became a state that it would house native Hawaiians in accordance with the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.  If enacted, this would be the single largest state or federal investment in the program in any one year in the 100-year history of HHCA. HB2511, HD1/SB3359, SD2 hold the potential for generational change for native Hawaiians who have languished on the waitlist for far too long by offering the chance for homeownership in their kulāiwi.

UPDATE: HB2511 and SB3359 have cleared the First Crossover Deadline on March 10. Then, the bills will need to be scheduled for committee hearings prior to March 23 to pass the Second Lateral Deadline. CNHA will notify the community to provide public testimony for those committee hearings. 

 

HB2511 HD2 appropriates $600 million to DHHL to:

  1. Develop lots or units;

  2. Purchase available land or units;

  3. Provide funding for an applicant on the waiting list or the applicant's qualified relative […] to purchase a residence in the State; with a preference for those who do not currently own a residence; and 

  4. Other services as necessary to address the waiting list.

 

SB3359 SD2 appropriates $600 million to DHHL for the following projects:

  1. $487.6 million to develop 2,190 new homestead lots on Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi.

  2. $112.4 million for down payment and mortgage payment assistance for HHCA beneficiaries.

Media Coverage:

$600 million investment plan for Hawaiian homesteads advances

March 4, 2022 | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Huge DHHL cash infusion could fast track development of nearly 3,000 homes

March 4, 2022 | Hawaiʻi News Now

Bills designate $600 million for DHHL

March 3, 2022 | KITV

$600M for DHHL to be heard by money committees

March 3, 2022 | Hawaii Tribune Herald

Lawmakers hear public testimony on proposed $600M for Hawaiian Home Lands

March 2, 2022 | Hawaii Public Radio

 

Plan To Commit $600 Million To Hawaiian Home Lands Development Advances

March 1, 2022 | Honolulu Civil Beat

Bill Before Lawmakers to Ease DHHL Waitlist

March 1, 2022 | KHON2

Submit Testimony on HB2511

Sample Testimony:

 

Aloha, 

 

My name is _______, I am a Native Hawaiian resident of Hawai‘i. I STRONGLY SUPPORT HB2511/SB3359 which would appropriate $600 million in much-needed and long-overdue funding to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to enable native Hawaiians to acquire residences. HB2511/SB3359 represents a historic step towards the State of Hawaiʻi fulfilling the promise it made when it became a state that it would house native Hawaiians in accordance with the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920.  If enacted, this would be the single largest state or federal investment in the program in any one year in the 100-year history of HHCA.  HB2511/SB3359 holds the potential for generational change for native Hawaiians who have languished on the waitlist for far too long by offering the chance for homeownership in their kulāiwi.

In closing, please PASS HB2511/SB3359 to help advance Prince Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole’s vision of rehabilitating native Hawaiians through the HHCA program. Let’s Fulfill the Promise!

Mahalo for this opportunity to testify on this measure. 

Watch Former Gov. John Waihee III interview

House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke about HB2511

About the Bills HB2511

Brief Summary:

  • Introduced as part of the House Majority Package by 46 members of the House

  • Establishes a new Hawaiian Home Lands Special Fund

  • Appropriates $600,000,000 to DHHL to enable native Hawaiians to acquire a residence in FY22/23.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Quick Facts:

  • On July 9, 1921, President Warren G. Harding signed the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act

  •  Through its passage, the United States set aside approximately 200,000 acres of land to establish a permanent homeland for native Hawaiians, who were identified as a landless and “dying” people as the result of disease, intermarriage, and loss of lands.

  •  “After extensive investigation and survey on the part of various organizations organized to rehabilitate the Hawaiian race, it was found that the only method in which to rehabilitate the race was to place them back upon the soil,” Hawaii Congressional Delegate Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole wrote to U.S. Senators prior to the passage of the Act.

  • The 1959 Admission Act mandated that the State of Hawaiʻi, as a compact with the U.S., administer the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and the approximately 200,000 acres of “ceded land” set aside for Native Hawaiian homesteading, with oversight by the U.S. Congress.

  • Currently, DHHL administers nearly 10,000 homestead leases statewide

  • The DHHL waitlist has steadily grown in size over the past decade rising from nearly 26,000 in 2010 to more than 28,700 today.