Maui News

COVID Relief Law Delivers $5 Million To DHHL For Native Hawaiian Housing Assistance

March 29, 2021, 7:01 AM HST
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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is soliciting applications for a new Homestead Community Grant that aids Native Hawaiian families living on Hawaiian Homestead lands. Photo Courtesy: OHA

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will receive $5,000,000 in new federal funding to help provide affordable housing options for Native Hawaiians living on and off the Home Lands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is primarily targeted to help Native Hawaiians hardest hit by the pandemic and facing eviction or mortgage foreclosure with preserving safe and sanitary housing stability. 

“These new federal dollars will go toward rent and utility payments and other housing services so that Native Hawaiian families have safe, affordable places to call home,” said Senator Schatz, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The Native Hawaiian community has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, so these new federal dollars will help provide immediate relief.”

Authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law on March 11, this new funding for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Program will provide financial assistance for Native Hawaiian families. The funds may be used for rental or mortgage assistance, to make essential repairs, and to receive housing services – including counseling, financial literacy and other critical resources to address housing disparities.

Schatz, who also serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, worked to secure a total of $185 million in funding for Native Hawaiian programs in the latest COVID relief law.

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