Hawaiian Homes Commission
Approval of Criteria, Process and Next Steps to Remove the Moratorium on Subdivisions and Transfer of Agriculture and Pastoral Leases
STATE OF HAWAII
DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS
May 20, 2013
To: Chairman and Members, Hawaiian Homes Commission
Through: Darrell Yagodich, Planning Program Manager
From: Bob Freitas, Planner
Subject: Approval of Criteria, Process and Next Steps to Remove the Moratorium on Subdivisions and Transfer of Agriculture and Pastoral Leases
ITEM NO. G-1
That the Hawaiian Homes Commission:
1) Approve Criteria to allow Subdivisions and Transfer of Agriculture and Pastoral Leases pursuant to HAR 10-3-26(f) (see section “C” of submittal);
2) Accept Beneficiary Consultation Report (see appendix);
3) Approve Next Steps to implement HAR 10-3-26(f) (see section “F” of submittal) .Read More
Another brand new home has been designed and constructed by Hawaiʻi Community College students in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.
This is the 46th home built by the college since the school launched its Model Home Program in 1965. The best part of the program, according to students and organizers: the annual ceremony where the house keys are officially turned over to the new homeowner.
“Oh it felt great,” said Fred Palea, the lucky Hawaiian Home Lands lessee right after he walked into his new home for the first time. “I am really ecstatic and excited about this house and it feels warm, welcoming, and I think our family is really going to enjoy this house.”
The three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,800-square-foot home includes a carport, solar water heating, a photovoltaic system, landscaping with native plants and an aquaponics garden.
Read the entire article and watch the video on the UH News Site:Read More
Notice of Annual
Hawaiian Homes Commission
Regular Meetings On Moloka’i
On Monday, May 20, 2013, at 9:30 a.m.
and Tuesday, May 21, at
11:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. (Time changed as of 5/14)
at Kūlana ‘Ōiwi Multi-Purpose Conference Room
(600 Maunaloa Highway, Kalamaula)
Annual Hawaiian Homes Commision
Moloka‘i Homestead Community Meeting
On Monday, May 20, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
at Lanikeha Community Center (Farrington Ave., Ho‘olehua)
COMMUNITY MEETING AGENDA
- 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. DHHL Update
- 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. Homestead Community Update
- 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Open House*
- 8:30 p.m. Adjournment
* During Open House, representatives from DHHL divisions will be available for one-on-one consultation and to answer any questions.
For further information or special accommodations for a sign language interpreter or accessible parking (must be made five days prior to the meeting date), please contact : Information and Community Relations Office on O‘ahu at 808-620-9590.Read More
Department Responds To Star-Advertiser Articles
The following is the un-edited opinion piece which was submitted
to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in response to their recent
series of articles critical of our Department
May 8, 2013
The Star-Advertiser’s three day series highlights a critical challenge facing this Administration: how to effectively manage DHHL’s land resources with severely limited resources until the lands can be homesteaded.
While we appreciated the opportunity to respond to questions posed by the Star-Advertiser, it appears that the complexity of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act caused some of the important information that we shared to be left out that, perhaps, would have helped to better clarify and frame the challenges facing our department and our beneficiaries. In the interest of providing that clarity, please allow us the opportunity to again share these facts:
A revocable permit (RP) allows use of certain DHHL lands on a month-to-month basis and can be cancelled at any time upon a 30 day notice. An RP is not a long-term revenue generating commercial lease. It is not a long-term license, nor is it a 99-year homestead lease. The RP program was intended to be principally a land management tool.
This is because some of the DHHL acreage that is not currently in homesteading or in general commercial leases are large undeveloped and remote properties. These lands are subject to illegal dumping, trespassing, illegal uses, or overgrowth that can lead to fire hazards if there is no presence on the land. Fencing, signage, cutting vegetation, monitoring, etc. is very expensive to maintain over thousands of acres.
In light of severely limited staffing and financial resources, the RP program was one option the department developed years ago to provide presence on these lands, to maintain the lands, and deter dumping and other challenges, at no cost to DHHL. The RP program does provide for some revenues from DHHL lands that are “as is” (for example, raw, undeveloped land with minimal infrastructure) instead of simply being a major land management cost item in DHHL’s budget. However, as much of the liability and responsibility shifts to the permit holder, the RP program also reduces DHHL’s risk and the risk to DHHL’s limited financial trust assets.
By contrast, 99-year Homestead lease awards require a reliable source of adequate funding. Without the capital improvement funding, homesteads are just not developed. Without the use of sufficient general funds for operations, DHHL must fund its operations from the revenue it generates.
Both of these enormous challenges, maintaining DHHL’s inventory of lands across six islands until the lands are awarded for homesteads, and generating revenue on these lands using commercial ground leases that must go through a strict and complex multi-step approval process are handled by the same small Division made up of five land agents and a Division Administrator. Are they overwhelmed? Yes. Are they understaffed? Absolutely. But this is all we can afford.
The last time DHHL received general funding for its administrative costs was in 2010, when it received $1 million, a small fraction of the overall costs of operations. On the development side, the Act 14 land settlement reached in 1995 has provided for a stream of payments to DHHL of $30 million over the past 18 years. But, we have used these funds to develop thousands of residential homestead over that time. These payments come to an end in 2015 leaving DHHL’s future funding uncertain.
The ultimate solution for DHHL and its beneficiaries would be for the State to allocate sufficient financial resources to provide every eligible native Hawaiian beneficiary with a lot equipped with adequate infrastructure including water, along with the maintenance and upkeep of the infrastructure in our existing communities. This cost, which easily runs into the billions of dollars, could be funded at one time if the State faced no other critical needs. However, since the state faces a myriad of other concerns and issues, resources for DHHL over its long history has come from the State in fits and starts.
However, even with all these challenges before us, all is not doom and gloom. This year, for the first time, Governor Abercrombie’s budget included a request for $14.7 million in general funding for DHHL’s administrative expenses in response to the Nelson lawsuit, and the Legislature engaged in a discussion regarding what is “sufficient” to fund the operations and administration of DHHL. The outcome? We received $9.6 million in general funding for operations for DHHL, more than has ever been provided in DHHL’s history. It’s a good beginning, but a dialogue that is far from over.
Going forward, it is the intention of this Administration to assess the current state of our program, identify areas of weaknesses, and implement the proper reforms. But change often requires more than just DHHL. We are extremely grateful for the unwavering support of Governor Abercrombie and the assistance of key cabinet officials who have pledged their support in helping us achieve the improvements we desire.
Can the RP program be improved? Yes, by establishing clear policies and procedures; adequate and timely enforcement; and prudent decision-making regarding the way DHHL lands are used as they await development for homesteads. These are the goals the DHHL’s new Administration will strive for.
Jobie M.K. Masagatani
Chair, Hawaiian Homes Commission and
Director, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
Legislature Passes $9.6 Million for DHHL Operations,
Largest General Funds Appropriation In Department’s History
First appropriation of general funds for the state agency since 2010
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- May 2, 2013
- Download a PDF version of this release
KAPOLEI, HAWAI‘I – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) today received critical legislative support for a new FY 2014 operating budget which includes $9.6 million of general funds for administrative and operating costs, allowing the trust fund and other revenues generated by the Department that currently fund department operational expenses to now be made available for the future development of Hawaiian Homestead projects and programs.
The Legislature’s important decision and action comes in light of the May 2012 Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruling in Nelson v. Hawaiian Homes Commission that affirmed the Intermediate Court of Appeals judgment, which opined that a determination could be made for what constituted “sufficient sums” for DHHL’s administrative and operating expenses to carry out the purposes of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. The case is still ongoing and the definition of what is “sufficient sums” for DHHL’s administrative and operating expenses is still to be judicially determined.
The department has experienced an exponential increase in its daily workload over time, while state funds supporting these expenses have been limited or non-existent. The department last received General Funds for operations in FY 2010. Prior to that, DHHL had received appropriations up to $1 million per year, with the highest previous amount, $3.5 million, appropriated during the administration of Gov. John Waihe‘e.
“Our appreciation goes out to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his steadfast leadership, and to the State Legislature for engaging in the discussion of what is ‘sufficient’ funding to administer and operate the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands,” said Jobie Masagatani, Chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and Director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. “In addition to Gov. Abercrombie, we would also like to recognize and thank Senator Brickwood Galuteria and Representative Faye Hanohano for their unwavering support of Hawaiian programs, Senator David Ige and Representative Sylvia Luke and the members of the Senate and House money committees for providing us with much needed general funds, and Senator Michele Kidani and Representatives Ty Cullen, Ken Ito, Sharon Har, and Mele Carroll for their support of our program, our beneficiaries and our mission.”
Concluded Masagatani, “We look forward to continuing this important conversation and dialog in working with the Legislature in the coming years toward furthering our efforts to obtain “sufficient” funds essential to revitalizing our programs, increasing development on homestead projects, and placing more native Hawaiian families onto Hawaiian home lands.”
The Legislature’s appropriation of $9.6 million, while more than any previous appropriation, was less than the request of $14.68 million for DHHL that Gov. Abercrombie submitted in the Executive Budget on December 17, 2012 or the nearly $26 million that the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the department had developed and proposed to “sufficiently” cover administrative and operating costs in response to the Nelson v. HHC.
The $23.9 billion biennium budget now goes to Gov. Abercrombie for final approval.
Darrell T. Young
Deputy to the Chair
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands