Hawaiian Homes Commission Act
- Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended (HHCA)
- Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended (HHCA) PDF
The legal basis for the establishment of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended (HHCA). Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Warren Harding on July 9, 1921 (chapter 42, 42 Stat. 108), the HHCA provides for the rehabilitation of the native Hawaiian people through a government-sponsored homesteading program. Native Hawaiians are defined as individuals having at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood.
Pursuant to provisions of the HHCA, the Department provides direct benefits to native Hawaiians in the form of 99-year homestead leases at an annual rental of $1. In 1990, the Legislature authorized the Department to extend leases for an aggregate term not to exceed 199 years (Act 305, Session Laws of Hawaii 1990; section 208, HHCA). Homestead leases are for residential, agricultural, or pastoral purposes. Aquacultural leases are also authorized, but none have been awarded to date. The intent of the homesteading program is to provide for economic self-sufficiency of native Hawaiians through the provision of land.
Other benefits provided by the HHCA include financial assistance through direct loans or loan guarantees for home construction, replacement, or repair, and for the development of farms and ranches; technical assistance to farmers and ranchers; and the operation of water systems.