Maui News

Working group to discuss DHHL execution of $600M in appropriated funds

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Aerial showing future site of Puʻunani subdivision on Maui. DHHL held a groundbreaking ceremony last week, marking the start of a $17 million capital improvement project to install infrastructure for the planned subdivision in Waikapū. DHHL reports the funding is the first from the $600 million appropriated under Act 279 to serve beneficiaries on the DHHL waitlist.  PC: file DHHL (2020)

The House’s ACT 279 Working Group will convene on Thursday to discuss the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ execution of $600 million in appropriated funds to address the urgent needs of its beneficiary waiting list.

In January 2023, the House adopted H.R. No. 10, establishing a working group to oversee DHHL’s execution of funds pursuant to Act 279, Session Laws of Hawaiʻi 2022.

The six-member bipartisan group includes Representative Troy N. Hashimoto (Chair) of Maui, Representative David A. Tarnas, Representative Daniel Holt, Representative Scott Y. Nishimoto, Representative Mahina Poepoe of Molokaʻi, and Representative Gene Ward.


“We look forward to working closely with DHHL in providing oversight of the $600 million appropriated by the Legislature. This is a rare opportunity to make major investments in Native Hawaiian housing, and it is critical that funds are expeditiously and responsibly expended,” said Rep. Hashimoto. “This has the potential, if successful, to jumpstart and allow us to make major strides in the reduction of the long-standing waitlist.”

Rep. Troy N.Hashimoto

Over the interim, the group will craft a report to be submitted to the House of Representatives no later than 20 days prior to the commencement of the Regular Session of 2024, including topics such as the leveraging or maximization of the appropriated funds, alternative financing options for beneficiaries and developers, and alternative housing development options aside from homestead lot development.

“The House intends on working with the Administration to ensure the $600 million appropriated to reduce the waitlist is maximized to assist the greatest number of beneficiaries,” said Speaker Scott K. Saiki.


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