HAWAIIAN HOMELANDS "AS IS" . . .
THE ACT TO INCREASE DISTRIBUTION OF KULEANA LEASES.
Despite the obligation imposed by Article XII, Section 1 of the State Constitution, infrastructure for the distribution of Hawaiian Homelands hasn't been properly funded for almost a hundred years. Tens of thousands of beneficiaries are on waiting lists. Many on waitlists die before their homesteads are awarded. Meanwhile, the lack of affordable housing has made a lot of native Hawaiians homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
While we'd love to see the State fully fund infrastructure and housing for Hawaiian Homesteads, we're in the business of "Ending Homelessness Now With Money We Have Now." Consequently this bill only stipulates that the Department of Hawaiian Homelands ("DHHL:) offer all beneficiaries unimproved homestead land "as is". Native Hawaiians, particularly those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, would be far better off with undeveloped land NOW, than developed land "some time in the future" they may never get. Moreover, with new solar, wind, and rainwater filtration technologies, infrastructure is less important than it's ever been.
The DHHL already has a program in place to distribute unimproved "as is" homesteads. It's called the "Kuleana Homestead Lease Program" which operates pursuant to DHHL Administrative Rule § 10-3-30.
The purpose of the "Distribute Hawaiian Homelands 'as is'" Act is to expand the Kuleana Lease program, so that every beneficiary has an opportunity to acquire Kuleana land within the next couple of years.
Under this Act, beneficiaries who decline unimproved Kuleana land, would remain on the waitlist for improved land; They could also change their minds and accept Kuleana land at anytime. Beneficiaries of Kuleana land could build homes, or live in alternative structures such as tents; yurts; mobile homes; pre-fabricated sheds and indigenous Hawaiian dwellings using traditional Hawaiian architectural practices, styles, customs, techniques and materials.