Native Hawaiians on a wait list for homesteads will soon have a first-ever option to rent affordable apartments from the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. DHHL signed an agreement to buy two vacant apartment buildings in Mōʻiliʻili from Kamehameha Schools for $7.8 million. The agency plans to renovate the buildings for occupancy by the end of the year.
“The greatest demand on the DHHL wait list is for O‘ahu with over 9,000 applications, but O‘ahu is where we have the least amount of available land,” said William Aila, Jr. Hawaiian Homes Commission chairman. A recent change in administrative rules allows DHHL to provide rentals for beneficiaries who don’t qualify for a mortgage or buy turnkey homes. DHHL is currently completing offers to applicants on its wait list for 395 lots and has more than 1,300 lots in the production pipeline to be completed over the next five years.