Department Of Hawaiian Home Lands

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Updated June 2017

Congress passed a law enacting the Hawaiian Homelands Commission Act in 1921 at the behest of Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole to provide homelands for Native Hawaiians.

The law ordered that approximately 200,000 acres of crown lands be used as homesteads for Hawaiians of blood quantum of 50 percent or more.

As of 2017 only about 10,000 Hawaiians were able to build homes or secure rentals through the homelands act administered by the state since statehood in 1959.

Prior to statehood, the U.S. Interior Department managed the program but did not fund it.

After almost 100 years of inactivity a lawsuit was filed in 2007 on behalf of Hawaiians seeking housing. The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the state must provide funds for the DHHL program but not development of residential lots.

Since then the state has been unable to fully fund the act and in 2017 there was a waiting list of about 23,000 seeking housing.

Department Of Hawaiian Home Lands
No New Housing For Hawaiians Despite Millions In The Bank Cory Lum/Civil Beat

No New Housing For Hawaiians Despite Millions In The Bank

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands comes under fire for not providing any new housing units last fiscal year.

Hawaii AG Appeals DHHL Case Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

Hawaii AG Appeals DHHL Case

circuit court’s decision in Nelson v. Hawaiian Homes Commission determined that the state should give the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands "sufficient funds."
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Legislature Passes Airbnb Bill, Others As Session Wanes

Hawaii lawmakers killed, among others, a measure to let psychologists on the neighbor islands prescribe drugs.
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How Much More Will State Pony Up For Hawaiian Home Lands?

The House passes a funding bill, but doesn't fill in the blank for what it thinks the state should pay pursuant to a court order.
House Keeps Funding For Hawaiian Home Lands Alive Cory Lum/Civil Beat

House Keeps Funding For Hawaiian Home Lands Alive

Giving just an hour's notice, lawmakers called a public hearing to look again at a bill that would provide additional money for the department.
More Than 130,000 Native Hawaiians Sign Up for Nation Building

More Than 130,000 Native Hawaiians Sign Up for Nation Building

The Native Hawaiian community may hold a constitutional convention as soon as this fall.
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Hawaii Monitor: Bill Would Expand Secrecy of DHHL Leases

But Senate chair Clayton Hee says: "This is a public trust, public land, public leases."
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New hui being formed to incubate a deeper "bench."
Native Hawaiian Clubs ‘Colonizing the Continent’ Michael Levine/Civil Beat

Native Hawaiian Clubs ‘Colonizing the Continent’

Convention on civic participation in Washington, D.C., bars reporter from conference.
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Akaka to Alaska Natives: ‘Strength In Solidarity’

Retiring Hawaii senator speaks at convention.
Lingle: I Never Sold an Acre of Ceded Land

Lingle: I Never Sold an Acre of Ceded Land

U.S. Senate candidate emphasizes her commitment to Native Hawaiian land ownership.