What is keeping a Hawaiian Homes/DHHL new lease awardee from building their own house?

DHHL Reforms? Did some research / search and destroy mission today:

What is keeping a Hawaiian Homes new lease awardee from building their own house?
(aka why cant i build my own house if i receive a DHHL lease?)

§10-3-34 Building requirements.  No building structure or improvement may be constructed on the premises without written approval from the commission. Such an approval shall be considered only after submission of a plan as to design, materials, and probable value and use of the structure to be built on the leasehold.  Building structures or improvements shall meet building and zoning codes and other ordinances and regulations of the respective counties except as otherwise provided by the commission.  [Eff7/30/81; am and comp 10/26/98]  (Auth:  HHC Act §222)(Imp: HHC Act §208)

The Federal Hawaiian Homes Commission Act does not require additional house plan approval, only the State regulations do. This is on top of any county housing code – a whole additional layer of blockage / red tape, just for Hawaiians.

When, where and how did this happen?

Act 75, 1986

What does this mean in practice for the past 30+ years?

The DHHL approval over all building plans must be how they force new lease awardees to use the preferred developer. If they don’t build with the developer, they can’t build their own either w/o approval, so then they lose the lease award after a year.

Why does DHHL have the power to deny lease awards for poor credit?

§10-3-22 Award of leases with outstanding indebtedness
No award of a residential, agricultural, or pastoral lot lease shall be made to an applicant whoh as not submitted sufficient evidence to the satisfaction of the department that the applicant is financially able to assume any indebtedness outstanding against the premises after the lease is awarded.  [Eff7/30/81; am 1/20/86; comp 10/26/98]  (Auth:  HHC Act§222) (Imp:  HHC Act §207)

What does this mean in practice for the past 30+ years?
This regulation, combined with the §10-3-34, is an additional burden on Hawaiian lease awardees. The banks administering federally-guaranteed loans should already be checking this, there is no need for the regulation in State code.

There may be only a single DHHL staffer processing loan applications at present.

How can we fix these regulations which have been keeping thousands of Hawaiians off of Hawaiian Homelands for decades?

  • draft State of Hawaii legislation to strike the clause(s) from Title 10
  • explain to legislators how this will benefit Hawaiians on the wait list, deal with Hawaii’s housing crisis, and Hawaii’s houseless crisis, and allow the State to fulfill the trust obligation to native Hawaiians.
  • the Governor has the power to direct the DHHL chair to approve all housing applications immediately, as it is duplicative/redundant with county codes, especially when there is a housing crisis. Communicating the new policy to the public is also needed, to solict all potential building applications by new lease awardees.

Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules, Title 10

HHCA Reference Guide

#PalapalaBrigades #HHCA #DHHLReform

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