DJOU PUSHES FOR NATIVE HAWAIIAN HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Washington, DC — Congressman Charles K. Djou (HI-01) has signed onto H.R. 709, the “Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act of 2009, a bill previously authored by former-Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Congressman Djou released the following statement:
“This is an important bill that has stalled in Congress for far too long. This legislation will re-authorize Title VIII of the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), which has been waiting for reauthorization since 2005. This legislation will expand opportunities for Native Hawaiians, particularly those of limited means, to access affordable housing. This is a good idea and will benefit not just Native Hawaiians, but to Hawaii as a whole. I look forward to working with my colleagues in both parties to ensure that this legislation becomes law.”
H.R. 709 would reauthorize Title VIII of the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), allowing the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) to directly receive funding in the form of block grant, which the Department uses for improving lands in order to facilitate Hawaiian homeownership. Title VIII also supports infrastructure development, Habitat for Humanity of Hawaii, down payment assistance programs, self-help home repair programs, and financial literacy programs. This legislation would also allow DHHL eligibility for loan guarantee authority under Title VI of NAHASDA, which, among other things, would grant DHHL access to Title VI, giving the Department the ability to serve more low-income families without a large increase in federal appropriations by partnering with the private market.
In addition, this bill would allow Native Hawaiians access to HUD’s Section 184(a) for refinancing. Currently, Native Hawaiians can use HUD’s Section 184(a) for new construction. H.R. 709 would allow Native Hawaiians the use of HUD’s Section 184(a) guaranteed loans for refinancing in addition to construction which would reduce the cost of homeownership for low-income families and also reduce risk by lowering monthly mortgage payments.
DHHL was established as the executive agency to administer the Hawaiian Home Lands program in order to develop affordable housing opportunities for native Hawaiian families. This program targets assistance to families at or below 80 percent of median income. In conjunction with loan programs such as the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) section 247 program and HUD’s section 184(a) program, Title VIII is successful in assisting low-income Hawaiian families with their housing needs.