DHHL Waitlisters to Benefit from New Down Payment Assistance Program

Posted on Mar 27, 2024 in Media Releases, Slider




March 25, 2024


DHHL Waitlisters to Benefit from New Down Payment Assistance Program

The state agency partners with homestead nonprofit to support homeownership for native Hawaiians

DHHL Director Kali Watson speaks at SCHHA conference in January 2024



(KAPOLEI, OʻAHU) – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has partnered with homestead nonprofit, Hawaiian Lending & Investments, to provide direct assistance to beneficiaries looking to construct, or purchase, a home on Hawaiian Home Lands. DHHL Act 279 Down Payment Assistance Program (DAP) will match HLI grants of up to $5,000 that are awarded to eligible DHHL beneficiaries on any of DHHL’s Application Waiting Lists and those holding undivided interest homestead leases.

“Getting our families into homes is at the forefront of our mission,” said Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Director Kali Watson. “Through our collaboration with HLI, we are able to make a direct and immediate difference for our beneficiaries by providing financial support and eliminating obstacles to home ownership.”

DHHL’s memorandum of agreement (MOA) with HLI dedicates $250,000 of the department’s general revenues appropriated by Act 279 to fund the program.

“Our HLI team, and our board members from every island region, appreciate the purposes of this MOA,” said Rolina Faagai, HLI executive director. “HLI will facilitate a matching grant from DHHL to waitlist families that receive funding support from any number of agencies that specialize in down payment assistance.”

Founded by the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations (SCHHA), HLI will be responsible for determining a beneficiary’s eligibility and administering the match awards.

“This initial investment is a great start; it won’t resolve 29,000 on the Waitlist, but it supports those DHHL has or will be awarding lots to,” KipuKai Kualiʻi, SCHHA chair said. “As a coalition of Homestead Beneficiary Associations across the state this partnership is exactly the kind of work we want HLI to be doing with the DHHL.”

For more information 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 Hawaiian Lending & Investments:

Hawaiian Lending & Investments founded in 2020, is the Designated Community Development Financial Institution of the SCHHA. It is a Native CDFI 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to capitalizing families and businesses through loans, grants and financial capacity building, on or near Hawaiian Home Lands.