DHHL Lege Update

DHHL Updates Legislators on Progress Made on State Audit Recommendations

Loan delinquency, financial security top issues of concern

 

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) Chair and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Director Jobie Masagatani briefed Hawaiʻi State Legislators today on Department efforts over the past six months to address concerns raised in a State Audit released in April.

The informational briefing was held by leadership from the Hawaiʻi State Legislature’s finance and Hawaiian affairs committees as a follow-up to a briefing held in May regarding the Audit of DHHL’s Homestead Services Division and other related issues.

At the top of the agenda were DHHL efforts to reduce loan delinquency rates among Hawaiian homesteaders. Masagatani highlighted the recent launch of a pilot program in East Hawai’i to help prevent lease cancellation for homesteaders whose loans have been in delinquency for more than six months or 180 days.

Other efforts to address DHHL’s high loan delinquency rate, include:

  • Improving the loan tracking system to produce easy-to-understand reports that tracks loans/lessees through each step of the contested case hearing and cancellation process
  • Producing clear loan policies and procedures in two comprehensive volumes to be brought before the HHC for approval
  • Generating a risk management plan based on true estimates of the risk posed to the Trust by high delinquency loan rate

Legislators also raised concern over the agency’s financial security in light of the 2015 end to the $30 million annual payments DHHL receives from the Legislature. To this point, Masagatani reminded legislators that DHHL will be seeking their support for general fund appropriations in the amount of $27.1 million in fiscal year 2015 to fund operations and administration costs.

These efforts and more can be found in greater detail by downloading DHHL’s presentation to the Legislature. The informational briefing aired on ‘Ōlelo TV, channel 53. Re-broadcasts may be available at a later date online at olelo.org.