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