The first loan prequalification was awarded to a local Hawaiian farm tenant as part of the HUD 184a mortgage program passed 20 years ago by Congress specifically for Hawaiian homestead properties, according to the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations.
“We are thrilled,” said Robin Puanani Danner, SCHHA chairman. “This is the first time a farmer has been granted a credit prequalification since Congress created HUD184a, which our farmers and ranchers have not requested in more than 20 years. Political affairs. “
In 2019, a local Hawaiian tenant reached out to the SCHHA Ombudsman Program for help applying for the unique property trust mortgage product after being informed by local state government officials that farmers and ranchers were ineligible and that only residential buildings were eligible to apply.
“We knew this was wrong based on just a simple reading of the HUD184a statute and associated federal regulations,” said Danner said. “When we couldn’t make progress at the local level, we sought help from US Senator Brian Schatz, the HUD, and the Home Office, our main federal escrow agency for our trust countries.”
The SCHHA ombudsman program pursued a review of the policy of refusing farmers and ranchers to homesteads, and almost exactly a year later, on March 31, 2021, the HUD issued a policy clarifying that all trust territories were whether Residential, agricultural, or ranching areas are eligible for mortgage product HUD184a.
“In less than 25 days since that HUD decision, which corrected 20 years of misinformation, the first loan prequalification was issued to a local Hawaiian farmer,” said Kipukai Kualii, chairman of the SHHA Homestead Policy Committee. “This is a very big deal, not just for the farmer, but for all of Hawaii. There are more than 1,000 Native Hawaiians in each county on land leases for farm or ranch trusts. The potential impact is enormous, for agriculture, for banks, for our local construction industry. I congratulate this first farmer that he can now hire a builder and build his house. “
SCHHA sponsored a nonprofit financial institution dedicated to the development of the indigenous community to provide indigenous Hawaiians with access to home capital, agricultural capital, and consumer capital. Hawaiian Lending & Investments has offices in Kauaʻi, Maui, and Oʻahu that provide loans, grants, and technical assistance with mortgage loans.
“Our collectively enrolled members of the SCHHA with incredible expertise on our trust law, coupled with a local CDFI, bring knowledge and expertise to increase the flow of capital that most citizens in our state and country take for granted,” continued Kualii away. “HLI is helping our homestead and waiting-list families meet the unique needs of the Hawaiian homelands to gain access to the capital that is the foundation of our economic freedom.”
SCHHA also partnered one of HUD184a’s largest lenders in the country with HLI, First Tribal Lending, to bring additional lenders to the Hawaiian home countries. For more information on the HUD184a mortgage product, contact the Hawaiian Lending & Investments nonprofit at [email protected]
The SCHHA, founded in 1987, is the oldest and largest homestead association that unites homestead associations across the country. It is registered with the Department of the Interior and exercises sovereignty to advance the principles of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 and advance the interests of 10,000 rural residents and 28,000 native Hawaiians awaiting homestead awards.