VIDEO: Gabbard-Backed Bill to Reauthorize Housing Assistance for Native Hawaiians Passes House Unanimously
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today praised unanimous passage of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4329). The bill, also called NAHASDA, seeks to empower Native communities by assisting low-income families with affordable housing.
“Over 1,400 low-income families in Hawai‘i have benefited from these services and, in many cases, homeownership would not have been possible given the $640,000 median price of a single-family home on the island of Oahu,” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said in a speech to the House of Representatives today. “One quick example of [NAHASDA’s impact is] the Nakihei family on the island of Moloka‘i. Brent and Amber Nakihei could not have afforded to remain in the neighborhood where Brent grew up. But they partnered with Moloka‘i Habitat for Humanity and Hawaiian Homes to build a new three-bedroom, one-bath house in 2007. They invested 700 hours of work towards construction of that house, and their four children will now learn the responsibilities of homeownership from a young age and have a safe home to grow up in.
“Nationwide, passage of this legislation also would represent an important step toward removing roadblocks to economic success in Native communities, and would reaffirm the House’s long-standing commitment to tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”
NAHASDA-supported activities include home construction, roads, sewers, street lighting, and utilities; direct loans to income-eligible families; subsidies for home rehabilitation; home repair training; financial counseling; and support for non-profits who provide self-help home construction. The Department of Hawaiian Homelands uses the NAHASDA funds to manage a trust established by Congress to support Native Hawaiians through homesteading.