DHHL News Release: Chair Ailā Statement on Perceived Mismanagement of Legislative Funds

Posted on Jul 26, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom

(Kapolei, Oʻahu) – Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. has issued a statement in response to Senator Kurt Fevella’s press conference on the perceived mismanagement of legislative funds by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL).

“The Hawaiian Homes Commission has followed the authorizations outlined in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature’s 1995 Act 14 settlement to establish an endowment to serve the Trust. At the time, the legislature was very deliberate in wanting DHHL to seek out a steady availability of capital to fund the program. It’s the Department’s intention to fully implement this authorization and continue to work with the State to complete Act 14 outstanding land transfers.

“Since 1995, DHHL has used Act 14’s financial settlement to develop over 4,000 new homestead lots and now has over a half a billion dollars in private lending contingent liability that it is responsible for. It is our fiduciary kuleana to be sure the trust has enough money in its reserve to mitigate this risk against the State.

“This Commission, as well as previous Commissions, has acted prudently in its fiduciary responsibility of this trust to ensure that homestead lots are developed in perpetuity.”

At the close of the 2021 legislative session, DHHL was allocated $78 million for Capital Improvement Projects. While short of the $460 million sufficient sums request made by the Department, the allocation represents the largest legislative budget for Capital Improvement in the history of the program.

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