July 3, 2023 (Kapolei, HI) – Today, a distinguished group of government officials convened at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) in Kapolei to engage with Native Hawaiian beneficiaries and individuals who have received U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) counseling and services. The visit served as an opportunity for HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, Representative Jill Tokuda, and HUD Regional Administrator Jason Pu to listen to the struggles, successes, and valuable feedback shared by the community. The insights gained during this visit will contribute to shaping a new path forward for Native Hawaiians facing housing challenges.

During the visit, leaders interacted closely with Native Hawaiian beneficiaries, lending an attentive ear to their stories, concerns, and aspirations. The shared experiences shed light on the obstacles faced by Native Hawaiians in securing suitable housing and offered valuable perspectives on how to better address these pressing issues for current and future generations of Native Hawaiians.

DHHL Chairman Kali Watson shared, “By listening to the struggles and success stories of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries, we gain essential insights into their unique needs. It is through collaboration and shared responsibility that we can develop comprehensive solutions to address the housing disparities faced by our communities.”

In partnership with DHHL, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has issued approximately $20 million in rental and mortgage assistance through its programs to provide financial relief for struggling individuals and families. DHHL and CNHA remain committed to addressing the challenges faced by the community and providing necessary assistance to ensure housing stability and financial security.

“Today’s visit has reinforced the urgent need for comprehensive housing strategies for Native Hawaiians.” Added CNHA Director of Emergency Financial Assistance Richard Medeiros. “By harnessing the voices and experiences of those directly affected, we can develop effective policies and programs that make a meaningful impact on their lives.”

The visit by these esteemed officials exemplifies a collective commitment to fostering positive change and providing equitable housing opportunities for Native Hawaiians. The valuable feedback gathered during this visit will inform future initiatives aimed at improving housing access and affordability for Native Hawaiian communities.