Nearly $35 Million in Federal Funds Allocated to DHHL

DHHL Habitat Waimānalo Home. Photo Courtesy: Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands received nearly $35 million in federal funds of aid to Native Hawaiians under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

On Dec. 21, 2020, Congress announced a $900 billion stimulus package, part of the Act, that included several allocations for DHHL:

  • At least $30 million for broadband deployment and infrastructure, telehealth, broadband mapping and affordability, distance learning, and digital inclusion in Native Hawaiian communities.
  • $2.4 million for emergency rental relief to provide eligible participants with payments for security deposit, rent, rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs, utilities and home arrears, and other expenses related to housing incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  •  $2 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant funding through the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.

“It’s reassuring that the federal government included aid to Native Hawaiians as part of this relief effort,” said Deputy to the Chair Tyler Iokepa Gomes. “The Department is prepared to quickly implement the $2.4 million in emergency rental relief, as well as the $2 million in NAHASDA funding. We are currently planning for the optimization and deployment of the $30 million for broadband services.”

The Department plans to announce a revamped version of its current COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance program utilizing the emergency rental relief federal funding in the coming days.

The $900 billion stimulus package is part of the $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, a spending bill that combined the aforementioned stimulus relief for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill for the 2021 federal fiscal year.

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