Councilmember Tamara Paltin has introduced a resolution for Friday’s council meeting, urging Mayor Michael Victorino to grant water and sewer credits to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands for homestead and agricultural lots in Lahaina.
The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, signed into law by President Warren in 1921, designated approximately 200,000 acres of Crown and Hawaiian Kingdom lands for homesteading by native Hawaiians.
In 1959, the HHCA was included as a provision of statehood for Hawai‘i, transferring the responsibility for managing the program to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
“Although the Hawaiian Homelands program is administered by the state, it is the kuleana of all Hawai‘i residents to do their part to ensure the beneficiaries get onto the land. That includes the counties,” Paltin said.
Access to water continues to pose significant obstacles and delays for DHHL projects in West Maui. In 2008, the County of Maui and DHHL signed an agreement establishing water and sewer credits at the Lahaina Wastewater Treatment Facility for the Villages of Leiali‘i 1A and 1B. The credits have since expired.
“Supporting the development of Hawaiian Homelands in West Maui will positively impact the housing supply throughout Maui,” Paltin said. “After over two decades of waiting for West Maui, Maui County can no longer shirk our responsibility to actively support the development of DHHL projects. If we are going to call ourselves a county concerned with affordable housing and social justice, it is incumbent on us to take action.”
Members of the public can view the council meeting on Akakū Channel 53 or provide testimony via the video conference link or phone number listed on the meeting agenda at MauiCounty.us/agendas.
In addition to receiving testimony by phone or video conference, the council will accept written testimony. For instructions on submitting written testimony, visit http://mauicounty.us/testify/.