Media Release: Hawaiian Homes Commission Recognizes Chair William J. Ailā, Jr.

Posted on Dec 19, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(Kapolei, Oʻahu) – The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) adopted Resolution No. 305 honoring Chair William J. Ailā, Jr.’s service to the beneficiary community in his capacity as Chairperson of the HHC and Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) at its Monday, December 19, 2022 regular meeting.

Prior to taking over the lead role at the agency in 2019, Chair Ailā served a 5-year stretch as Deputy to former Chair Jobie Masagatani.

During his tenure, Chair Ailā expanded the Department’s administrative rules, commemorated the 100th centennial of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, broke ground on several new homestead projects, piloted through the initial steps of DHHL’s first rental project, offered homestead lots of every island, and navigated the Department through the COVID-19 pandemic which included the distribution of millions of dollars in federal rental subsidies for the Native Hawaiian Community. He leaves DHHL with an unprecedented and historic allocation of $600 million to address the housing needs of native Hawaiians.

In addition to his service to the native Hawaiian community in his roles with DHHL, Chair Ailā is a former Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources and former head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. In that capacity, he directed the agency’s activities, including the management of public lands; forest, fish, and game resources of the State; and of the forest reserve, state parks, small boat harbors, and historic sites.

He is also known for his longstanding role as the Harbor Agent for the Wai‘anae Boat Harbor from 1987 until 2010.

Chair Ailā leaves his current post on December 30, 2022 and will be retiring from his 37-year career as a public servant of the State of Hawaiʻi.

“I want to extend my gratitude to the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands staff for their confidence in my leadership and for allowing me to serve our community,” said William J. Ailā, Jr. “I would also like to acknowledge my Executive Assistant and former Chair Jobie Masagatani and Deputy Tyler Iokepa Gomes for their efforts to advance this program. It has been an honor and a privilege to contribute to fulfilling the vision of Prince Kūhiō.”


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

[email protected]