Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Bipartisan Coalition Reintroduce Native Hawaiian Housing Legislation
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today joined a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in introducing the reauthorization of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA), which has empowered more than 1,400 low-income families in Hawaiʻi over the past two decades, along with native communities across the country. In addition to the introduction of the bill today in the House, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) has also introduced companion language in the U.S. Senate.
“Reauthorizing NAHASDA is critical to fulfill our nation’s trust responsibility to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Safe, secure, and affordable housing is essential to the wellbeing of our country’s native people which leads to better health, education, and economic outcomes that strengthen native communities,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “In Hawaiʻi, almost 30 percent of the homeless population is comprised of Native Hawaiians—a statistic that is far too high in the most prosperous country in the world. Reauthorizing NAHASDA provides needed financial support to native communities in Hawaiʻi and across the country. We must continue to fight for the programs that will improve housing and wellness resources for Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities throughout the country.”
Background: NAHASDA was first established in 1996 with the consolidation of several separate assistance programs, provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, into a single block grant program. In 2000, NAHASDA was amended to add Title VIII – Housing Assistance for Native Hawaiians. The amendment adds similar programs for Native Hawaiians who reside on Hawaiian Home Lands to the NAHASDA legislation.
In Hawaiʻi, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is the sole recipient of the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant as provided for by the law. DHHL administers 203,000 acres of trust land; 99% of those lands are located in Hawai‘i’s Second Congressional District: from the southernmost tip of Hawai‘i Island to Kauaʻi and Niʻihau; it includes every Hawaiian Island, but excludes urban Honolulu.