Posted on Jun 17, 2024 in Media Releases, Slider



Puʻuhona Homestead is the department’s first residential home offering on Maui in 17 years


Former Lahaina resident Ellabelle Kaiama and ‘ohana; DHHL Director Kali Watson; former Maui Hawaiian Homes Commissioner Randy Awo and Lieutenant Governor Sylvia Luke




June 15, 2024


KAHULUI, MAUI – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) awarded 52 turnkey homes Saturday as part of phase one of the Puʻuhona Homestead lot awards. Puʻuhona is the department’s first project initiated through the $600 million allocation by state lawmakers in 2022 to support a multifaceted approach to reduce the DHHL Waiting List.

“The awarding of these homes to these families today is a fantastic step forward for our state,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “Housing is such a critical need for our residents in general, and Native Hawaiian beneficiaries on the waiting list have been acutely aware of that need for a very long time. That these homes are going to beneficiaries on Maui seems especially appropriate, and a great sign of hope that more progress is coming soon.”

The department acquired the roughly 47-acre Waikapū parcel through a land transfer with the Dowling Company, Inc., in exchange for affordable housing credits from the county of Maui.

“The department will persistently seek out lands in areas we can establish secure and resilient communities for those we serve,” said Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Director Kali Watson. “The people of Maui have faced numerous challenges since the wildfires. We hope these homes will inspire and uplift a community recovering from a devastating tragedy.”

Puʻuhona is the name of the first of four puʻu, or hills, that travel up to Hanaʻula, Waikapū’s highest peak. Named in likely reference to the native tree, hona was highly valued for the fibers found in its inner bark, which were used to craft rope and cordage for fishnets. The creation and intertwining of these materials represent the unity and growth of a community as individual strands come together to form a stronger bond.

Puʻuhona will be awarded in three separate offerings and will comprise of 137 turnkey homes and 24 improved vacant lots. Groundwork on the project began in May 2023 with phase one home construction to commence in the summer of 2024.

Of the 52 homes offered in phase one, three- to five-bedroom homes were made available. Homes range in price from $509,800 to $699,000.

“It has been an honor and privilege to work collaboratively with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands,” said Dowling Company president and developer, Everett Dowling. “We hold DHHL and its beneficiaries in high-esteem and are committed to providing quality homes that will anchor them in a community where they can thrive and build lasting legacies for generations to come.”

To learn more about Puʻuhona visit the department’s website.



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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.


 Media Contact:

Diamond Badajos

Information and Community Relations Officer

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands

Cell: 808-342-0873

[email protected]