SA: State offers federally funded mortgage aid

Hawaii’s state government to offer federally funded mortgage aid
By Leila Fujimori, Star-Advertiser, 1/28/22

The state has launched a program funded by the federal government to assist about 1,000 Oahu homeowners hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and who may be in jeopardy of losing their homes.

Federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act in the amount of $50 million for the entire state will help some homeowners, with Oahu receiving a $30 million piece of that pie, and the other counties receiving $20 million.

Those in need of assistance should act quickly as only 1,000 applications will be accepted initially.

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KHPR: Lawmakers consider transferring to OHA an estimated $638M of withheld public land trust revenues

By Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi, Hawaii Public Radio, 26 January 2022 at 12:29 PM HST

Hawaiʻi lawmakers are considering a measure that would transfer to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs hundreds of millions of dollars in public land trust revenues – money long withheld from the agency.

Senate Bill 2021 proposes to help resolve the decades-old dispute over how much of the public land trust revenues should be directed toward the betterment of Native Hawaiians.

State law and the Hawaiʻi State Constitution require the state to use 20% of the revenue it receives from the public land trust for the betterment of the Native Hawaiian people, a kuleana given to OHA.

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HCB: West Oahu Reps Take On Major Problems

West Oahu Reps Plan To Tackle Traffic, Tech And The Cost Of Living
By Ku’u Kauanoe, Honolulu Civil Beat, 24 Jan. 2022

Lawmakers want the public to weigh in this session on the bills that matter most to their communities.

West Oahu lawmakers are looking to make progress on some of their district’s long-standing issues with proposals to mitigate traffic, lower the cost of living and address the technological challenges revealed by the pandemic.

The 2022 legislative session opened Wednesday and runs through early May. And with the new year comes new initiatives to better the quality of life for Hawaii residents.

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SA: $600M to fix Native Hawaiian housing program

Hawaii lawmakers propose $600M to fix Native Hawaiian housing program
By Rob Perez, Star-Advertiser, 21 Jan. 2022

Legislative leaders in Hawaii are calling for the appropriation of $600 million to help house Native Hawaiians through a chronically underfunded homesteading program that has fallen short of its promise to return Native people to their ancestral lands.

As the state government faces what is expected to be a budget surplus, House Speaker Scott Saiki on Wednesday proposed what he called historic legislation to provide the so-called Hawaiian Homes program with funding to address a huge demand for affordable housing among Native Hawaiians. The appropriation would be more than seven times the amount the Legislature provided the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, the state agency that administers the program, for construction in 2021.

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SA: Waianae Health Center to distribute COVID test kits on Saturday 1/22/22

Waianae Health Center to distribute reserved at-home COVID test kits to community
By Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser, 21 Jan. 2022

The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center announced today that it will offer a drive-thru distribution of thousands of free at-home COVID-19 test kits this Saturday at Waianae Mall.

All of the tests, however, have already been reserved for the drive-thru to be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at Waianae Mall.

The center said it has received supplies of “Quick-Vue COVID-19 At Home Test Kits” from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to distribute to its patients, staff and the community.

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HNN: Housing Assistance Applications Open Jan. 21 at 10 AM (1/19/22)

State to launch housing assistance program for Oahu homeowners in need
By HNN Staff, 19 Jan. 2022

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The state is partnering with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to provide $50 million to help homeowners.

The Oahu housing assistance fund will offer up to $30,000 per eligible homeowner to help with mortgage, utilities, taxes and association fees.

Those who have fallen behind on payments due to the pandemic will receive priority approval.

Officials said Oahu homeowners will only be able to qualify for mortgage assistance if their bank or loan servicer signs up to participate in the program.

Applications open on Friday at 10 a.m.

The state said homeowner assistance programs are underway for Hawaii, Kauai and Maui counties.

For more information or to apply, click here.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

SA: 2 Projects for Hawaiian Homestead (1/18/22)

2 projects to benefit Hawaiian homestead families
By Star-Advertiser Staff, 18 Jan. 2022

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations recently announced two separate projects for beneficiaries.

Through recent federal law and expanded service options, homestead lessees, tenants and permittees will now have more broadband telecommunication options, DHHL announced Thursday. For many years the embattled Sandwich Isles Communications, which has been fined millions of dollars over the past several years, was the exclusive provider of telephone and internet serv­ices on homestead lands.

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SA: State program for youth in Wai’anae (11/30/21)

State program seeks to support, motivate youth in Waianae
By Jayna Omaye Star-Advertiser, 30 Nov. 2021

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, left, kumu Isaiah Burch, 16-year-old student Remedy Kahaleua and Director of Alternative Learning Kristy Nishimura worked Monday in the loi at the Ka‘ala Cultural Learning Center in Waianae. Photo by JAMM AQUINO, JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

For Kuali Moses-Marcellino, school was never fun until he enrolled in the Papahana ‘o Kaiona alternative learning program in Wai­anae. The 17-year-old used to miss a lot of class and had a difficult time paying attention. Now he spends most of his school hours in the community working in a loi, learning about Hawaiian moolelo (history) and participating in other hands-on activities. He is set to graduate with his high school diploma in May and hopes to travel the world to learn about different cultures.

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SA: Hawaii senators tour Papahana ʻo Kaiona (11/29/21)

Hawaii senators take tour of Papahana ʻo Kaiona Alternative Learning Program in Waianae.” Photos by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser, 29 Nov. 2021.

Hawaii state senators visited students and educators at the Papahana ʻo Kaiona Alternative Learning Program in Waianae to learn more about the organization’s efforts to disrupt the pathway to prison and ensure smooth transitions into the local community for residents completing their post-secondary education. All photos in this gallery by Jamm Aquino, 29 Nov. 2021.
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HNN: Senators Tour Papahana ‘o Kaiona, Wai’anae (11/29/21)

“Senators Tour Alternative Learning Program: Papahana ‘o Kaiona, Wai’anae”
Hawaii News Now, 29 Nov. 2021

SA: State Seeking to Sell Waianae Rental Complex (11/19/21)

By Andrew Gomes, Star-Advertiser, 19 Nov. 2021

Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. aims to sell the 72-unit affordable rental housing complex called Kulia I Ka Nuu, also known as Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae. Photo: CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
Kulia I Ka Nuu was built on state land in 2008 as Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Waianae at a cost of $16.4 million, mainly with local taxpayer funding, by the Hawaii Coalition of Christian Churches. Photo: CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

A state agency plans to sell a Waianae rental housing complex serving low-­income residents after struggling with management and financial troubles at the property.

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Karen Young in ‘Empowered’ 11/16/21

Watch the full, original video @blueplanetfound.

Maile with Senate Committee on Ways and Means Visited Maui (10/21/21)

Mahi Pono Vice President of Agriculture Outreach Darren Strand (from left) talks with Hawaii State Sens. Bennette Misalucha, Kurt Fevella, Donovan Dela Cruz and Maile Shimabukuro, Mahi Pono Chief Operating Officer Shan Tsutsui and Mahi Pono Director of Community Relations Tiare Lawrence during a visit to a recently planted lime orchard Wednesday morning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

By Kehaulani Cerizo, “Drought disaster relief eyed for county,” Maui News, 21 Oct. 2021.

PUUNENE — Officials may again seek a disaster declaration for Maui County amid extreme drought conditions, according to Molokai Sen. Lynn DeCoite.

DeCoite and other senators with the Senate Committee on Ways and Means traveled to Maui early this week as part of a multiday meeting to assess regional agriculture strategic plans. During a presentation by the state Department of Agriculture at Mahi Pono on Wednesday, DeCoite asked what it would take for the governor to issue another request for emergency relief.

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SA: $11M in federal grants for Native Hawaiian college students, programs (10/9/21)

Jayna Omaye, $11M in federal grants awarded to help support Native Hawaiian college students, programs, Star-Advertiser, 9 Oct. 2021.

Twenty-two grants totaling $11 million will help new and ongoing efforts to support Native Hawaiian college students and Indigenous higher-education programs statewide, officials say.

Through the U.S. Department of Education and the federal Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions program, grants were awarded to nine of the 10 University of Hawaii campuses, as well as Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific universities, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono’s office announced Wednesday.

At UH Maui College, Ben Guerrero, student success coordinator, said they will use the $550,000 awarded this year for creating a Native Hawaiian center on campus. The funding is part of a larger five-year grant totaling about $2.75 million. The college currently has an open hale that officials plan to renovate and transform into a center for Native Hawaiian students, their families and community members.

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HUD to Protect Tenants Facing Eviction in HUD-Assisted Properties 10/6/21

HUD to Issue Rule Protecting Tenants Facing Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent in HUD-Assisted Properties (HUD No. 21-167, 6 Oct. 2021)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday announced that it will publish a rule that prohibits the eviction of tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent from HUD-subsidized public housing and certain properties with project-based rental assistance without providing a 30-day notice period that includes information about available federal emergency rental assistance.

The interim rule, which will be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, October 7, provides that when there is a national emergency—such as the COVID-19 pandemic—and federal money is allocated to help tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent, the HUD Secretary can (1) Expand the notice a covered landlord must give before such a tenant must vacate a unit from 14 days to 30 days; (2) Require landlords to provide information to the tenant regarding federal emergency rental relief along with the eviction notice; and (3) Require landlords to provide notice to all tenants in public housing of the availability of emergency rental assistance. Separately, HUD is publishing notices that invoke this new rule’s authority and require provision of information regarding the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

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CB: Savings Accounts For Native Hawaiian Families

Suevon Lee, “Nonprofit Will Use Grant To Create Savings Accounts For Native Hawaiian Families: Partners in Development Foundation is teaming up with American Savings Bank to help families better prepare and pay for children’s educational needs,” Civil Beat, 8 Oct. 2021.

A nonprofit serving Native Hawaiian children and their families through educational and social service initiatives will launch a new savings program in partnership with a bank to help families build financial security using a $2.5 million grant under the federal American Rescue Plan.

Hawaii’s Partners in Development Foundation was among the nearly two dozen beneficiaries of a combined $28.1 million in federal grants under the Native Hawaiian Education Program announced by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s office last month.

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SA: Free COVID-19 test kits available throughout Oahu (9/28/21)

Free COVID-19 test kits now available at pickup locations throughout Oahu
By Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser, 28 Sep. 2021

The free, home COVID-19 test kits that the Hawaii Department of Health is distributing as part of a federal pilot program are now available for pickup at various Oahu locations.

The Honolulu Fire Department will be distributing about 3,000 of the kits, which have eight tests each, at its four drive-thru testing sites, which include the Aloha Stadium, Ewa Mahiko District Park, Waianae District Park, and Kapolei Consolidated Theatres parking lot.

The free kits, part of the “Say Yes! COVID Test” at-home testing challenge has been in high demand since its launch last week. More than 500,000 were already ordered online within the first few days of the launch.

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NYT/SA: Cost of insuring expensive waterfront homes is about to skyrocket

“Cost of insuring expensive waterfront homes is about to skyrocket”
By Christopher Flavelle / New York Times, 24 Sep. 2021
Republished in Star-Advertiser, 28 Sep. 2021

STAR-ADVERTISER: Water crashed onto fortifications called “burritos” near homes precariously perched above Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu in September 2020.

Florida’s version of the American dream, which holds that even people of relatively modest means can aspire to live near the water, depends on a few crucial components: sugar-white beaches, soft ocean breezes and federal flood insurance that is heavily subsidized.

But starting Oct. 1, communities in Florida and elsewhere around the country will see those subsidies begin to disappear in a nationwide experiment in trying to adapt to climate change: Forcing Americans to pay something closer to the real cost of their flood risk, which is rising as the planet warms.

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SA: UH Seeking Participants for Native Hawaiian Dietary Study

University of Hawaii to study Native Hawaiian dietary health
Star-Advertiser 27 Sep. 2021

”There isn’t enough information about how Native Hawaiian babies are eating and growing.” -Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla, UH associate professor of human nutrition

University of Hawaii officials are seeking participants for a statewide study on the dietary habits of Native Hawaiian mothers and their babies.

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SA: “COVID ‘crisis’ in Leeward Oahu” 8/30/21

COVID ‘crisis’ in Leeward Oahu as area leads island with case counts
By Nina Wu, Star-Advertiser, 8/30/21

The Leeward coast of Oahu is in crisis mode, with some of the highest coronavirus case counts on the island, which continue rising and spreading like wildfire among household members.

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