The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) launched a new Homeowner Assistance Program for lessees who reside on Hawaiian Home Lands. The program will assist homesteaders struggling to pay their mortgage, utilities, property taxes, insurance, or association fees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The assistance program will deploy $5 Million in federal funds from the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant in accordance with the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA).
“We recognized early on in the pandemic the need to provide mortgage relief on Hawaiian Home Lands,” said Deputy to the Chair Tyler Iokepa Gomes. “In April 2020, the Department started a mortgage deferral program for beneficiaries with direct loans from DHHL. We thank our congressional delegation for allocating these funds to provide mortgage relief as well as assist those who may have struggled with other housing expenses.”
The Homeowner Assistance Program will be administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA). DHHL also recently partnered with CNHA to expand its Emergency Rental Relief Program.
“The pandemic continues to devastate our native Hawaiian community, threatening not only our people’s health but also their financial security,” said CNHA President and CEO Kūhiō Lewis. “These federal funds are critical to keeping our native Hawaiian ʻohana in their homes and help to maintain the stability of our homestead communities during this crisis.”
Eligible applicants may not earn more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and will be asked to provide financial documents as part of the application process. More information and application forms can be found by visiting hawaiiancouncil.org/kokua.