Who is eligible for participation in the FHA Hawaiian Homelands Program?

A borrower must be a native Hawaiian who is at least 18 years of age and certified as eligible to hold a Hawaiian Home Lands Lease, or possesses a lease of Hawaiian Home Lands issued under Section 207(a) of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, that has been certified by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) as being a valid current lease, and not in default.  

Native Hawaiian means a descendant of not less than 50 percent part of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands before January 1, 1778 (or, in the case of an individual who succeeds a spouse or parent in an interest in a lease of Hawaiian Home Lands, such lower percentage as may be established for such succession under Section 209 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, or under the corresponding provision of the constitution of the State of Hawaii adopted under Section 4 of the Act entitled, “An Act to provide for the admission of the State of Hawaii into the Union,” approved March 18, 1959). 12 U.S.C. § 1715z-12(d)(1). 

Certificates of Eligibility are issued by DHHL and certify that the Borrower possesses a homestead lease in good standing (not canceled or in default).  The mortgagee must verify and obtain documentation that the borrower has a Certificate of Eligibility for an existing Hawaiian Home Land lease issued by DHHL, or possesses a lease of Hawaiian Home Lands issued under Section 207(a) of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920 (42 Stat. 110). 

To obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, the mortgagee must submit a Request for Certification of Eligibility form to the DHHL. DHHL will issue the Certification of Eligibility to the mortgagee. 

For additional information see Handbook 4000.1 II.A.8.h. at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/administration/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh

All policy information contained in this knowledge base article is based upon the referenced HUD policy document. Any lending or insuring decisions should adhere to the specific information contained in that underlying policy document.


Topic Number: KA-03969