The six new Kumuhau homestead 'ohana gather for a final blessing from Kahu  Bill Kaina before the ceremonial untying of the maile lei at this morning's ceremonies.

The six new Kumuhau homestead ‘ohana gather for a final blessing from Kahu William Kaina before the ceremonial untying of the maile lei at this morning’s ceremonies. Photo: Blaine Fergerstrom

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 18, 2014

SIX HAWAIIAN HOMESTEAD FAMILIES RECEIVED KEYS
TO NEW HOMES IN WAIMĀNALO
Hawaiian Homes and Habitat for Humanity Partner on Kumuhau Self-Help Project

WAIMĀNALO, O‘AHU – Christmas came early for six Native Hawaiian families, who received the keys to their new self-help homes in the Hawaiian homestead community of Kumuhau in Waimānalo, Oʻahu, today.

The Ah Yee, Gomes, Joseph, Kam, Kane, and Lai ʻohana were joined by Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity Leeward Oʻahu, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), and dozens of volunteers who all had a hand in the completion of these six homes.

“Levi and I got this spot eight years ago and we didn’t know how we were gonna do it. We battled cancer. We had three more children. We saved money. And we are here to celebrate today,” said T.J. Joseph, who with her husband Levi and their five children received the keys to their new home.

Construction of the Kumuhau self-help homes began in July 2013. Under the partnership with Habitat for Humanity, homeowners participate in the construction of their own homes, as well as the homes of their neighbors.

“What strikes me most about this project is that all of these families came together as strangers and became friends, family and neighbors,” said Jim Murphy, Executive Director of Honolulu Habitat for Humanity.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with great community leaders, from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to Honolulu Habitat to our partner families and all the volunteers who are with us here today – this day is for you!” said Jo Bautista, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Leeward Oʻahu.

The homes range in size and price from a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home for $167,472, to a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home for $197,472, with an estimated monthly mortgage payment ranging from $465 to $548.

“Congratulations to our newest Kumuhau homesteaders! We wish them the very best as they celebrate Christmas in their new homes,” said Jobie Masagatani, Chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. “This day would not be possible without the hard work, perseverance and commitment of our partners – Honolulu Habitat and Leeward Habitat – whose volunteer labor enable us to keep these homes affordable.”

The Kumuhau self-help project homes were funded with Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant monies received by the DHHL under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA).

  • Photos by Blaine Fergerstrom

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About the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands carries out the vision of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole of rehabilitating Native Hawaiians by returning them to the land. Established by U.S. Congress in 1921, with the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the DHHL manages over 200,000 acres of land statewide with the specific purpose of developing homesteading opportunities for Native Hawaiians.

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About Habitat for Humanity Honolulu

Founded in 1988, Honolulu Habitat for Humanity is a local affiliate of a world-wide charity that builds houses with volunteer lab and sells those houses to families in need. This program is a “hand up not a hand out” with a mission of helping end the poverty cycle on Oʻahu, one family at a time.

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About Habitat for Humanity Leeward Oʻahu
Habitat for Humanity Leeward Oʻahu is a non-profit, grassroots, ecumenical Christian ministry that works with people of all faiths, forming partnerships with low-income families to build simple, decent homes. Leeward Habitat seeks to eliminate sub-standard housing on O’ahu by building decent homes through community partnerships and dignity through homeownership, one home at a time.

Media Contact:
Punialoha Chee
Information & Community Relations Officer
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
(808) 620-9591 | 808.282.9031 c
Punialoha.Chee@hawaii.gov
dhhl.hawaii.gov