Posted on Mar 15, 2024 in Media Releases, Slider



NEWS RELEASE                               

March 15, 2024


DHHL, CNHA Launch Relief Program to Support Individuals Impacted by Wildfires

Emergency rental assistance to be granted to eligible native Hawaiians



(KAHULUI, MAUI) – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) is pleased to announce the launch of the DHHL Wildfire Relief Program, an initiative funded by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), that will provide emergency rental assistance to native Hawaiian families affected by the devastating wildfires on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island.

“We are committed to the well-being of native Hawaiian families on Hawaiian Home Lands,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair Kali Watson. “The DHHL Wildfire Relief Program stands as a symbol of our dedication to providing immediate assistance to those affected by the wildfires, helping them on the path to recovery and security.”

The DHHL Wildfire Relief Program, a direct response to the ongoing hardships faced by native Hawaiian families residing on Hawaiian Home Lands, will offer up to six-months of rental and utility relief to eligible individuals and families. In the wake of the wildfires, this initiative seeks to alleviate the financial burdens that have arisen, enabling affected families to regain their stability and rebuild their lives.

“As organizations tasked with uplifting and caring for our lāhui, it is critical that we work together to maximize funding support and deliver programs that will have a deep impact on our community,” said Kūhiō Lewis, CNHA’s Chief Executive Officer. “This program exemplifies the strength of our collaborative efforts and the commitment to ensuring that native Hawaiian families receive the vital support they need during these challenging times.”


To qualify for the DHHL Wildfire Relief Program, individuals must meet the following criteria:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Residents eligible to reside on Hawaiian Home Lands including lessees, undivided interest lessees, or applicants on the DHHL waiting list that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the wildfires on Maui or Hawaiʻi Island; and
  • Must be residents of the State of Hawaiʻi.

Income Limits:

  • For renters & undivided interest lessees: less than 80% Area Median Income (AMI).
  • For DHHL lessees: less than 120% Area Median Income (AMI).

Applicant households must not be receiving other subsidies, including state-funded rental assistance, AUW, Red Cross, FEMA rental coverage, Section 8, or insurance proceeds provided to such households.

This program represents a significant step towards assisting those who have been adversely affected by the wildfires by providing immediate relief to those struggling to maintain their housing. By addressing the critical need for housing stability, the DHHL Wildfire Relief Program seeks to empower individuals and families as they work toward long-term security and prosperity.

For more information about the DHHL Wildfire Relief Program, including how to apply and eligibility criteria, please visit hawaiiancouncil.org/dhhlwildfire or contact [email protected]




About the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands:

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands carries out Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole’s vision 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 Hawaiian homesteading program run by DHHL includes management of more than 200,000 acres of land statewide with the specific purpose of developing and delivering homesteading.


About CNHA

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is a member based 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to enhance the cultural, economic, political, and community development of native Hawaiians. CNHA provides access to capital, financial education, and individualized counseling services with a focus on low and moderate-income families and services as a National Intermediary, providing grants and loans targeting underserved communities in Hawaiʻi.


Media Contacts:    

Diamond Badajos (for DHHL)

[email protected]  

(808) 342-0873


Lance Aquino (for CNHA)

[email protected] 

(808) 398-0657