(BIVN) – House Bill 2511, said to be “the most consequential allocation of funding for the implementation of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act in its 100-year history”, was signed into law as Act 279 on Monday.
Governor David Ige signed the bill during a ceremony held at Washington Place, allocating $600 million in funding to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in what the State calls “a renewed step forward in the fulfillment of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and its promise to native Hawaiians.”
“Today marks an unprecedented moment in our state’s history,” said Gov. Ige in a news release. “I am very pleased that the Hawaiʻi State Legislature approved this bill and forwarded it to me for my signature. Last summer, we gathered to commemorate the centennial signing of the Act and broadly agreed that while much has been accomplished, much more was needed. Today, with the signing of HB2511, we are providing a one-time allocation of $600 million to address the housing needs of native Hawaiians. With housing cost at an all-time high, this funding will allow DHHL to develop new housing units and expand on resource services for beneficiaries in various circumstances.”
“Sufficient funding to develop the raw landholdings of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust has been elusive for decades,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā, Jr., who was present for the bill signing. “Today’s signing marks a turning of the page from this dark past to a brighter future for native Hawaiians.”
“The measure will allow the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to expedite the construction of thousands of new homestead lots and housing units throughout the state,” Chair Ailā continued. “DHHL will also leverage its federal funding and trust assets to expand housing services to beneficiaries including down-payment assistance, rental subsidies, and expanded financial literacy education. These resources offer us an aggressive way forward. I thank the legislature for their bold decision making and Gov. Ige for his acknowledgment and support of the promises made to native Hawaiians.”