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OHA honors vow to help finance native Hawaiian homes


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POSTED: Friday, May 29, 2009

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs presented a $3 million check to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands yesterday to help finance construction of more affordable homes for native Hawaiians.

The check is the first installment on a commitment approved by OHA last year to pay $3 million annually for up to 30 years to speed up capital-improvement projects, OHA Administrator Clyde Namuo said.

Specifically, the money helps pay the debt service on revenue bonds issued for projects statewide.

Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of OHA's board of trustees, said the financial agreement will go a long way toward creating jobs and providing homes for beneficiaries.

Hawaiian Homes Commission Chairman Micah Kane agreed.

“;The support that OHA is giving is truly monumental,”; said Kane.

The funding is already being used for a Kapolei development called Kanehili. It is the first Hawaiian Home Lands subdivision to be built with energy-saving features.

The site has the capacity for 403 homes. Officials said the first 60 families are due to move in within the next couple of months.

“;We'll be turning over about 20 units a month in that subdivision alone,”; said Kane.