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The draft report estimates that $600 million will be required to satisfy the present waiting list of 7,500. This total cost is probably underestimated. It does not include the cost for planning, design, and detailed engineering. It does not include the cost for major infrastructural improvements, such as water source development, required to open up new areas for homesteading purposes. The draft report does not mention any federal role in assisting the DHHL to finance these costs. Obviously, a reliance on State funds and DHHL's ability to generate revenues from its land base are not sufficient.
2. Housing Programs
a. Finding: Determine whether it is necessary to provide fully improved residential lots to the applicant. Alternatives to consider are reductions in the extent of improvements provided and/or a requirement that applicants pay for certain improvements (page 42).
Comment: with a waiting list of 7,500 native Hawaiians, it would be a simple task to subdivide DHHL's lands and allocate these raw lands to all. This approach to "solving" native Hawauan problems would be irresponsible and detrimental to the beneficiary qroup.
DHHL follows a deliberate practice of assuring that residential and agricultural lots and improvements meet County standards, fully cognizant of the tradeoffs involved in terms of higher costs and constraints on DHHL's ability to satisfy the waiting lists. This course of action is followed for several reasons, which the draft report did not cover:
- It allows DHHL to dedicate certain improvements to the County for repair and maintenance;
- This allows homesteaders to obtain homeowner's and other forms of insurance, health and safety services such as fire protection;
- Depending on the source of financing, certain minimum standards must be net. Loan guarantees through the Farmers Home Administration, for example, are available if DHHL meets building standards that are more restrictive than County standards.
- If DHHL had an independent source of financing, residential and agricultural leases could be awarded without meeting County standards. However, DHHL would be responsible for infrastructure maintenance and repair, providing insurance, and health and safety services. Native Hawaiians would have difficulty securing loans and services. In most cases, the native Hawaiian beneficiary would suffer.
The draft report failed to examine these issues in relation to the tradeoffs involved and the full impacts of their recommendations. It is likely that draft report recommendations will provide marginal benefits. The key concern is the need for additional funding from federal agencies.
DHHL has discussed the need for a comprehensive study of the native
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