Washington, D.C. – June 16, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) spoke on the House floor asking the Appropriations Committee to reinstate funding for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG), which helps low-income Native Hawaiian families with down payment assistance, direct loans for first-time home buyers, and infrastructure development. NHHBG funding had been cut from the House Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, which was on the floor for a vote on Tuesday.
“As we all know, the foundation for success for millions of American families is a secure home,” Hanabusa said on the floor. “The Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant has given hundreds of native Hawaiian families that same foundation to succeed by assisting with affordable home-ownership opportunities in Hawaii, which serves as the groundwork for self-sufficiency and future prosperity.
“A disruption to the stream of funding for NHHBG would have a dire impact on dozens of on-going development projects, including alternative energy resources for homes, investments in infrastructures, and low-interest rate loans that seek to benefit the thousands of families living on Hawaiian home lands,” she added.
Title VIII of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA), which authorizes funding for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant, has opened the door for increased partnerships with financial institutions and enabled the federal policy of self-determination to be extended to all native populations across the nation.
The program also fulfills a trust obligation created by Congress in 1920 through the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, which sought to “fully support self-sufficiency…and the preservation of the values, traditions, and culture of native Hawaiians.”
Hanabusa voted against the Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill, which passed the House 229-192. The bill now goes to the Senate.
For video of Hanabusa’s speech, click here: http://youtu.be/gEDgA9EcXb8