(BIVN) – During the opening day of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, the Speaker of the House of Representatives said one of the priorities of the 31st session will be Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiaries.
“Families cannot afford housing and need help,” said House Speaker Scott Saiki in his opening remarks. “Regrettably, the demographic group … that has been hardest hit and most priced out of housing, is native Hawaiians. We will appropriate $600 million dollars to enable beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands trust to acquire their own homes.”
Speaker Saiki said the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus “will play a leading role on this historic piece of legislation.”
“Members, it is time to give the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands the resources it needs to fulfill its fiduciary duty,” Saiki said.
Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. issued the following statement following Speaker Saiki’s opening remarks:
“An investment of $600 million toward the implementation of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act would be a historic infusion of resources to address the needs of potentially thousands of beneficiaries on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Waiting List. DHHL continues to be open to all measures that would return native Hawaiians to the land, as intended by Prince Kūhiō. We appreciate this legislature for hearing our calls for funding and their commitment to fulfilling the state’s obligation to our community.”