by Andrew Walden
For some beneficiaries, the Hawaiian Homelands ‘waiting list’ does not exist.
Political speeches are peppered with references to kupuna who ‘died waiting’ – and the list only gets longer. But some beneficiaries can purchase their DHHL home immediately.
What’s special about these beneficiaries? Is it political connections?
It’s good credit.
On any given day a dozen or so ‘used’ DHHL homes are for sale to other beneficiaries. Any of them could be yours on a 30-day escrow—if you qualify for DHHL and have good credit.
When private mortgage capital is tapped, there is no practical limit to the number of DHHL homes that can be built. The world is awash in capital desperately seeking good business plans and responsible management to carry those business plans out—and responsible families with a good income to pay a mortgage. Interest rates are at all-time lows with some at or below zero percent. But not for deadbeats.
To gauge the Department’s ability to supply demand, the DHHL waiting list should be split into a good credit list and a bad credit list. If the Department is not building enough new homes to supply those with good credit then it is clear that bureaucratic obstacles are the problem.
As for the rest, the solution is credit education. That is a process which should start in junior high school.
But this is not what DHHL officials came up with recently when asked to ‘think outside the box.’
Instead they thought very much inside the box and proposed a gambling casino for DHHL land in Kapiolani.
Credit education would be an ongoing task for which bureaucrats would be required to work and be held accountable.
Splitting the waiting list would allow bureaucrats to be held clearly accountable for home construction progress—or lack thereof.
Akamai readers will remember the casino proposal was developed in December, 2020, after ProPublica and the Star-Advertiser ran a series of articles on DHHL. We called it a "Rushed Reaction to Waitlist Reporting.”
The casino proposal had one big advantage—it got immediately handed off to the Legislature and killed, allowing bureaucrats to say ‘we tried,’ shrug their shoulders, and go back to plotting their ‘top three’ and figuring out how to cash in on the next Lyon Associates deal.
Fortunately, credit education can be done in the schools--without any DHHL help at all.
As a protester once said in response to another ‘big project’ which was supposed to ‘solve everything' --
“Sovereignty is already happening now. We are educating our children. What we have in front of us doesn’t work.”