Frequently Asked Questions by New Applicants

Where can I go for help with my genealogy?

At the end of this document there is a list of state agencies where you can go for help with your research. Other sources include the state libraries; the LDS Family History Centers, operated by the Mormon Church; hospitals; schools; religious organizations; and reputable genealogists.

Where may I have my application notarized?

You may have your application notarized free of charge at DHHL. There is at least one notary public in each DHHL District Office. You may also have your documents notarized at your financial institution, or if you have an attorney, he or she may have a notary public on staff.

How many applications may I submit?

You may submit applications for a maximum of two types of leases – residential and agricultural OR residential and pastoral. You cannot submit applications for both agricultural and pastoral lots.

May I submit residential/agricultural or residential/pastoral applications for each island?

No. Your application(s) should be for the island you most likely want to live on when you get your award.

How long does it take to get my lease?

Lease awards depend upon the Hawaiian Homes Commission’s development goals, DHHL resources, and location and availability of lands, among other factors.

Which island has the shortest waiting list?

Lanai. However, when choosing an island you should consider employment opportunities and where you want to ultimately live, rather than making a selection based on the length of the waiting list.

Will my chances be better if I choose a shorter waiting list?

Not necessarily. It would depend on your employment opportunities on that island, the quality of available lands, and the design and construction projections for that island.

What is the difference between residential, agricultural and pastoral leases?

  • A residential lease is for the home that you live in.
  • An agricultural lease is primarily for farming.
  • A pastoral lease is for ranching.

You may also build a house on an agricultural or pastoral lot. However, if you already have a house on your residential lot and you want to build a house on your agricultural or your pastoral lot, you must surrender or transfer one of the two leases because you may only have one residence.

How much will a residential house and lot cost?

The amount varies depending on the project.

Can you own a non-homestead home at the time you apply for a Hawaiian homestead lease?

Yes. Owning non-homestead property does not disqualify you from receiving a lease. However, should you receive a residential homestead lease, you must be the owner-occupant.

Why do I have to submit more documents than my brother (or sister) who already has an award?

In the past, fewer documents may have been required when your relatives applied. Over the years, however, DHHL’s procedures have become more refined as errors and omissions surfaced. Therefore, any additional information you are asked to provide may be used to complete your relatives’ files, with your authorization.

Is the 50 percent blood quantum requirement going to be lowered?

Presently, DHHL does not have plans to lower the 50 percent blood quantum. DHHL’s first obligation is to those on the existing waiting list and the many qualified native Hawaiians who have yet to apply for a homestead. Any changes in the blood quantum requirement will require state legislative and congressional action.