The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $21.3 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) funding to support the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). This funding will support the housing needs of low-income Native Hawaiian families.
“This investment reinforces the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to Native Hawaiian families through accessible housing on Home Lands,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “I am proud to continue building on the Administration’s efforts to deliver more equitable outcomes for the people of Hawaii.”
“The State of Hawaii has the highest median home prices in the nation, and too often our Native Hawaiian communities are among the most negatively affected by the prohibitively high cost of housing,” said Richard Monocchio, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing. “The NHHBG program enables HUD to get federal funds directly to Native Hawaiian communities for affordable housing and long-term investments that will benefit generations to come.”
The funding may be used for the construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of housing; infrastructure; and various support services. In addition, the funding may be used to provide rental assistance to Native Hawaiians living on or off the Hawaiian Home Lands.
Over the past 20 years, over $150 million in NHHBG funds have been used by DHHL to construct, rehabilitate, and acquire over 750 affordable homes; improve over 600 lots with infrastructure development to support the construction of new housing; rehabilitate community centers to provide housing services to residents; and provide over 4,000 families with housing-related services, including financial literacy training, home repair training, and rental assistance.
DHHL plans to use this grant funding for a wide variety of affordable housing activities, including:
- Homeowner financing: Individual loans for new home construction or home purchase
- Tenant Rent subsidies: rental assistance to residents of an existing 85-unit elderly rental housing project in Waimanalo, Oahu
- Developer Financing: Financing for a contracted developer to construct affordable housing units.
- Kupuna Rental Subsidy Program: rental assistance for low-income kupuna (elders) age 62 or older, head of household, and on the Hawaiian Home Lands waitlist to ensure housing stability.
- Housing Counseling: Customized counseling to address housing barriers to help families achieve their housing goals
- Housing Conversion: Rehabilitation of an existing structure into 18 transitional housing units for low-income Native Hawaiians eligible to reside on the Hawaiian Home Lands
- Property Acquisition: Development of site selection criteria to research and identify available lands and existing structures for possible acquisition and development to create new affordable housing units
- Supplemental Dwelling Unit Financing: Financing for existing low-income homeowners on the Hawaiian Home Lands to construct a supplemental dwelling unit on their lot to create affordable rental housing units for low-income Native Hawaiians on the Hawaiian Home Lands.