Hawaiian programs
awarded $9.5 million

The federal grants will be used for
community programs and housing

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has received a $9.4 million federal grant to develop and support affordable rental housing and ownership opportunities for low-income native Hawaiians.

But Hawaiian Homes Director Micah Kane said a second, and much smaller, award of $61,200 to the Waimanalo Hawaiian Homestead Association for development of a community center is more significant.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Michael Liu presented a check to the Waimanalo community association yesterday during a ceremony at the state Capitol.

Liu said it is historic because it sets a precedent for allowing use of HUD funds for community programs and not just housing.

Kane said this ties in with his department's shift from "pocket" development to master-planned communities with community-based programs.

Most of the money in the larger grant will be used for housing and infrastructure, for both new and renovated homes, officials said.

The grant is the third Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant since the program started in 2002. Funding amounts were $10 million in 2002 and $9.6 million in 2003, for a three-year total of nearly $30 million.

Kane said he will go to Washington, D.C., later this month to convince officials to double the level of funding for the native Hawaiian grants.

Funds from the second-year grant are being used for housing developments at Kapolei Village 8 in Leeward Oahu and at Laiopua in North Kona on the Big Island, Kane said.

The first of 326 new units at Kapolei should be ready by late 2005, and the first of 236 units at Laiopua are expected to be ready in 2006, he said.



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