Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, February 28, 2019
OHA Must Do More to Solve the Hawaiian Home Lands Problem
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 2:20 AM :: 2575 Views :: DHHL, OHA

OHA Must Do More to Solve the Hawaiian Home Lands Problem

by OHA Trustee Kelii Akina, PhD, Ka Wai Ola March, 2019

One of the greatest legacies left to the Hawaiian people consists of 200,000 acres set aside for the purpose of homesteading. Constituting the third largest land estate in Hawaii, the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust is central to the vision of Prince Kuhio, who wanted Hawaiian families to own their own land.

The sad reality is that while the vast acreage of Hawaiian Home Lands Trust is more than sufficient to meet the housing needs of Hawaiians, there are several barriers to the fulfillment of Prince Kuhio's vision.

To Prince Kuhio, the ability to own land and pass it on to one's heirs was the basis of intergenerational wealth. Unfortunately, for many Hawaiians who have wanted their own homestead and even for many who have obtained a homestead lease, intergenerational wealth remains a distant dream.

Most of us know people who have spent nearly a lifetime waiting to obtain a homestead.  Sadly, by the time some applicants are called, many lack the income capacity to be able to take advantage of the offer.

Individuals and families seeking financing face a host of challenges. Banks will not give homestead lessees the best financing options, nor can lessees tap into the equity of the land their homes are sitting on.

Ironically, it was Prince Kuhio's original vision that Hawaiian homesteaders would be able to own their land in fee simple. He knew that intergenerational wealth was not built on leasehold land.

In addition to problems individuals face, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has struggled with a history of underfunding.  This especially affects the ability to develop homes where costly infrastructure for water, electricity, sewage, and roads must often be built from scratch. This is why some have said that DHHL is land-rich, but cash-poor.

Proposed Solutions

Despite the challenges faced by DHHL in administering the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, many potential solutions have been offered, some more feasible than others:

• Lower costs: Create tiny homes which cost a fraction of conventional homes

Build up: High-rise condominium buildings can house more people on less land.

• Develop rent-to-own programs.

• Go high-tech: Where there is little or no infrastructure, build "smart" homes.

• Reform the lease provisions so leaseholders can borrow against the equity of the land, to pay for construction or renovation of their homes.

What can OHA Do?

While administration of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act is the kuleana of a separate government agency, the DHHL, bettering the conditions of native Hawaiians is the kuleana of OHA. That means that where Hawaiians are not getting the housing they need, OHA must be concerned.  Not only is this notion common sense, it is also the law. HRS Chapter 10-3 tasks OHA with "assessing the policies and practices of other agencies impacting on native Hawaiians and Hawaiians, and conducting advocacy efforts for native Hawaiians and Hawaiians."

Currently, OHA pays $3 million a year toward fulfilling a 30-year, $90 million commitment to DHHL to help finance infrastructure costs. Unfortunately, beyond this agreement, the two agencies have no formal process for working together, nor any regular consultation.

I believe OHA can find ways to impact the Hawaiian Home Lands waiting list. For this to happen, OHA will need to embrace development of the Hawaiian Home Lands as part of its kuleana to better the conditions of the Hawaiian people.

Trustee Akina welcomes your comments and feedback at


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii