DHHL Publishes $600 Million Act 279 Plan
News Release from DHHL, December 6, 2022
(Kapolei, Oʻahu) – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has published and submitted to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature its final plan to spend the $600 million allocation of funding from Act 279.
Signed into law by Governor Ige on July 11, 2022, Act 279 set aside a historic $600 million toward addressing the needs of native Hawaiians on the DHHL Waiting List. Act 279 required DHHL to submit a strategic plan, including findings, recommendations, and any proposed legislation, to the legislature by December 10, 2022.
“We have set forth a plan for what is possible to accomplish given all the information we have on creating new homestead lots and leveraging other resources to work alongside this funding,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. “The plan is rooted in reality and flexible enough for the next administration to make adjustments as needed and seek innovative solutions to meet the needs of the beneficiary community.”
On May 16, 2022, Chair Ailā established a Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) based Act 279 Permitted Interaction Group to work with DHHL staff to receive guidance from counsel on various topics related to Act 279 and deliberate on elements to be included in a final Strategic Plan. Committee members included Commissioners Pauline Namuo, Russell Kaupu, Dennis Neves, Chair Ailā, and critical DHHL staff.
The Committee held five meetings and a Strategic Approach with comments from the whole Commission was incorporated into a final plan that DHHL presented to HHC at its November 2022 regular meeting.
The Department’s plan leverages all its resources and forecasts infrastructure development for over 2,700 new homestead lots statewide, the acquisition of new land, new potable water resources, and individual assistance programs, including down-payment assistance for new lessees, and rental assistance.
Applicants on the DHHL Waiting List will be informed about upcoming lot offerings and available services through the U.S. Postal Service mail. Beneficiaries are encouraged to contact DHHL to confirm their correct and most recent mailing addresses are on file.
To view the Act 279 plan, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/act279.
About the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands:
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands carries out Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole’s vision of rehabilitating native Hawaiians by returning them to the land. Established by U.S. Congress in 1921, with the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Hawaiian homesteading program run by DHHL includes the management of over 200,000 acres of land statewide with the specific purpose of developing and delivering homesteading.
SA: $600M spending plan finalized for Hawaiian Home Lands