DHHL News Release: Chair Ailā Statement on Passage of HB 2511Posted on May 5, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom
(Kapolei, Oʻahu) – Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. issued the below statement following a unanimous passage of HB 2511 by the Senate and House Legislative chambers. The measure appropriates $600 million to serve beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.
“This historic infusion of funding to the Department comes at a critical time, as we humbly recognize the centennial year of the Hawaiian Home Commission Act. For the entirety of the program, the Department has persevered along underfunded, struggling to act on the fulfillment of Prince Kūhiō’s vision from a century ago. As we look towards the next hundred years, it was critical that the State acknowledge its responsibility to the beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and its implementation.
“A commitment of this type demonstrates that the Legislature clearly heard the Department’s call for funding to build out infrastructure to create homestead communities and provide mortgage and rental assistance, ultimately returning native Hawaiians to the land. I’d like to commend the legislators of the 31st Legislature for this acknowledgment and bold decision-making to act on this great need.
“With over 28,000 native Hawaiians awaiting a homestead lot the work only begins here. We look forward to the future with anticipation that the need for funding continues to be prioritized and that the voices that stand with us today continue to be bold tomorrow.
“The Department is ready to dig into its shovel-ready projects and will continue its path of innovative and diversified lot options to return native Hawaiians to the land.”
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 management of over 200,000 acres of land statewide with the specific purpose of developing and delivering homesteading.
Information and Community Relations Officer
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands