DHHL News Release: DHHL Sufficient Sums Request Approved by HHC

Posted on Oct 4, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom

(Kapolei, Oʻahu) – The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) has approved a $312 million Sufficient Sums supplemental budget request drafted by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). The Department’s approved request will move forward to the Governor for consideration in the administration’s executive budget request to the 2022 legislature.

DHHL began proposing a sufficient sums budget request following a 2012 Hawaiʻi Supreme Court decision that determined the Department and the Commission had breached their trust responsibilities by failing to seek the sufficient funding that the legislature is constitutionally mandated to provide.

At the 1978 Constitutional Convention, delegates amended Article XII Section I of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution changing the word “may” to “shall.” That section reads, in part, “that the legislature shall make sufficient sums available for the following purposes: (1) development of home, agriculture, farm and ranch lots; (2) home, agriculture, aquaculture, farm, and ranch loans; (3) rehabilitation projects to include, but not limited to, educational, economic, political, social and cultural processes by which the general welfare and conditions of native Hawaiians are thereby improved; (4) the administration and operating budget of the department of Hawaiian home lands…”

DHHL’s supplemental budget request addresses the four purposes outlined in the Hawaiʻi State Constitution. The Department organized the request into a $263 Million Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget request and an Operating budget request of $49 Million.

The Department’s CIP budget includes projects that will develop over 1,100 new homestead lots, interim construction and permanent loan financing, major repair and maintenance projects, and Regional Plan priority projects that were requested by beneficiaries at a 2018 meeting of homestead association leaders.

DHHL CIP budget request:
Purpose 1: Lot Development – $86,300,000
Purpose 2: Loans – $73,100,000
Purpose 3: Rehabilitation Projects – $56,440,000
Purpose 4: Administration and Operating (Repair and Maintenance) – $47,650,000
Total – $263,490,000

DHHL’s Operating budget request includes the full funding of 206 general funded positions, including land agents, enforcement, and homestead services personnel to serve the increasing needs of existing and upcoming homestead communities. The Operating budget request also includes repair and maintenance projects that can be completed within 12 months, financial literacy services, the Native Hawaiian Development Program Plan, and Grant-In-Aid requests to support initiatives led by homestead associations.

DHHL Operating budget request:
Purpose 4: Administration and Operating – $30,023,876
Purpose 4: Administration and Operating (Repair and Maintenance) – $4,323,000
Purpose 3: Rehabilitation Projects – $14,704,100
Total – $49,050,976

“As described in the Constitution and punctuated by the Supreme Court, the members of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, myself included, have a fiduciary responsibility to ask for sufficient funding to meet the needs of beneficiaries,” said HHC Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. “While our request for Sufficient Sums may seem extraordinary, I think many people will agree that the need to fulfill Prince Kūhiō’s vision is far overdue.”

At the close of the 2021 legislative session, DHHL was allocated $78 million for Capital Improvement Projects, the most legislative funding for Capital Improvement in the agency’s history.

For a complete draft of DHHL’s Sufficient Sums request, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/government-relations.

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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.

Media Contact:
Cedric Duarte
Information and Community Relations Officer
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
(808) 620-9591
(808) 342-0873
[email protected]