Hawaii News

Pilot rental assistance program for kūpuna on Hawaiian Home Lands wait list

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The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is providing rental subsidies for eligible kūpuna (62 years or older) on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wait list.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ Kūpuna Rental Subsidy Program is a pilot initiative funded with $10 million from the Federal Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, which was secured by Hawaiʻi’s congressional delegation.

Those accepted into the program will pay up to 30% of their total household income towards their rent, and the program will cover the remaining rental cost.


The program subsidy may only be used for rental payments and will go directly to the program recipient’s landlord. Applicants are eligible for up to 12 months in rental subsidies with an option to renew subject to availability of funds.

Who Qualifies:

  • Residents of the State of Hawai‘i who are renters
  • Main applicant must be on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wait list
  • 62 years or older
  • Applicant household income must not exceed 80% of the area media income limit
  • Applicant household must not be receiving Section 8 or any other type of rental subsidy

Required Documents:

  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Proof of Hawai‘i residency
  • Rental agreement
  • Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wait list island and rank number
  • Previous year’s tax documents, pay stubs of two consecutive months with most recent income, or other income statement(s)

Program Eligibility:

To qualify for the program, applicants must pass a HUD Housing Quality Standard rental unit inspection. All approved applicants will be required to attend individualized housing counseling.

“Our kūpuna are among the most deserving of DHHL housing, and yet remain the most vulnerable group impacted by Hawai‘i’s high cost of living,” said Kūhiō Lewis, CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “The rental subsidies will allow kūpuna in need to remain safely housed in their rental unit and position themselves to accept a DHHL lease when they are awarded.”


Kali Watson, chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, said: “This innovative program assists kūpuna on Department of Hawaiian Home Landsʻ wait list while we work toward developing homestead lots statewide in order to return native Hawaiians to the land, as envisioned by our founder Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole.”

For more information about the program or to apply, individuals can contact the Kūpuna Rental Subsidy Program at 808-596-8155 or via email at [email protected], or visit  www.hawaiiancouncil.org/kupuna.

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