(Kapolei, Oʻahu) – The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) has approved a pilot loan program and an associated budget for an initiative that will provide applicants on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Waiting List with down payment assistance for a fee-simple residential purchase off Hawaiian Home Lands on Oʻahu.
In a unanimous vote on Monday, December 21, 2020, the Commission gave the project the go-ahead and approved a $1.5 million Fiscal Year 2021 budget for the initiative. The budget includes $1,000,000 for direct loan financing and $500,000 for initial project costs. Financing of the pilot down payment program is through the Native Hawaiian Rehabilitation Fund, pursuant to Section 213 (i), Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1921, as amended.
Participants in the program would receive down payment assistance for a fee-simple home and, in return, remove their names from the DHHL Waiting List. Should the fee-simple property be sold, the Department would require first right of refusal and require that the down payment offering be returned. It is anticipated that the applicant will have to provide a portion of the down payment but details on the exact qualifications are forthcoming.
“We are challenged with addressing a Waiting List that needs solutions today,” said HHC Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. “This effort aligns with the Department’s efforts to diversify DHHL’s offerings with a mix of housing opportunities that reflect the varied needs of our beneficiaries. In addition to addressing the list in the short-term, the program will also address our land shortage on Oʻahu and is anticipated to grow the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust one property at a time.”
Monday’s Commission approval provides consent to the Department to secure a vendor to administer the project. The details of the program will be reviewed and approved by HHC ahead of implementation.