Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed new rules that allow rental units, multi-family houses and kupuna housing to be built on Hawaiian home lands.

The governor said Tuesday during a rule-signing ceremony that the rules are “absolutely an essential part of addressing affordable housing for (Native Hawaiian) beneficiaries,” along with easing the statewide affordable housing crunch.

He said the change will allow the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to move forward with offering rental housing on Isenberg Street in Honolulu.

The rules follow two years of consideration and public input, the governor said. He added that providing affordable rental housing is intended to help families save money for a down payment on a house.

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands is a state agency that awards homesteads to people who are 50% Native Hawaiian. The agency has been criticized over the years for lack of housing production and an extremely long wait list.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the blood quantum for DHHL beneficiaries.

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