United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Indi.

Native Hawaiian housing and home lands : hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on housing needs of Native Hawaiians, July 3, 1996, Honolulu, HI online

. (page 1 of 34)
Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on IndiNative Hawaiian housing and home lands : hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on housing needs of Native Hawaiians, July 3, 1996, Honolulu, HI → online text (page 1 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


S. Hrg. 104-577

NATIVE HAWAIIAN HOUSING AND HOME LANDS



'4. IN 2/1 1:8. HRG. 104-577



!



ative Hauaiiin Housing and Hone La..

HEAEING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIES
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

ON

HOUSING NEEDS OF NATIVE HAWAHANS



JULY 3, 1996
HONOLULU, HI





ws%r^^



Nov 2



7 1996



!a!>



%fc



URa



■f/liO



S. Hrg. 104-577

NATIVE HAWAIIAN HOUSING AND HOME LANDS



HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

ON

HOUSING NEEDS OF NATIVE HAWAHANS



JULY 3, 1996
HONOLULU, HI




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
25-903 CC WASHINGTON : 1996

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-053545-X



COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS

JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Chairman
DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii, Vice Chairman
FRANK MURKOWSKI, Alaska KENT CONRAD, North Dakota

SLADE GORTON, Washington HARRY REID, Nevada

PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico PAUL SIMON, Illinois

NANCY LANDON KASSEBAUM, Kansas DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii

DON NICKLES, Oklahoma PAUL WELLSTONE, Minnesota

BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, Colorado BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming
ORRIN G. HATCH, Utah

Steven J.W. Heeley Majority Staff Director / Chief Counsel
Patricia M. Zell, Minority Staff Director/ Chief Counsel



CONTENTS



Statements:

Abercrombie, Hon. Neil, U.S. Representative from Hawaii 3

Akaka, Hon. Daniel K., U.S. Senator from Hawaii 3

Dannemiller, James E., President, SMS Research, Honolulu, HI 10

Furutani, Gordon Y., State Coordinator, Honolulu District Office, Depart-
ment of Housing and Urban Development, Honolulu, HI 4

Inouye, Hon. Daniel K., U.S. Senator from Hawaii, vice chairman, Com-
mittee on Indian Affairs 1

Watson, Kali, Director, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, State of
Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 8

Appendix

Prepared statements:

Dannemiller, James E. (with attachments) 27

Watson, Kali (with attachments) 40

Additional material submitted for the record:

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Beneficiary Needs Study, 1995 53

Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Develop-
ment and Research, Housing Problems and Needs of Native Hawaiians 314



(HI)



NATIVE HAWAIIAN HOUSING AND HOME

LANDS



WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 1996

U.S. Senate,
Committee on Indian Affairs,

Washington, DC.
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m. at 'Aha
Kanawai Courtroom, Fourth Floor, Federal Courthouse, Prince
Kuhio Federal Building Complex, Honolulu, Hawaii, Hon, Daniel
K. Inouye (vice chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Inouye and Akaka.
Also present: Representative Abercrombie.

STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL K. EVOUYE, U.S. SENATOR FROM
HAWAII, VICE CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS

Senator Inouye. The committee meets this morning to receive
testimony on three recent studies which document the housing
needs of Native Hawaiians residing in the State of Hawaii.

Before proceeding, I would like to welcome to this panel my col-
league in the Senate, Senator Daniel Akaka, and my colleague in
the House, Congressman Neil Abercrombie. Welcome.

Having reviewed the written testimony of the witnesses who will
appear here today, I can tell you that we will hear some astonish-
ing findings and statistics — ^findings which are shocking even to
those who may consider themselves well-informed on these mat-
ters.

In part, that is because previous data on housing needs of Native
Hawaiians was incomplete and was not compareato housing need
data nationally.

With these studies, we now know that Native Hawaiians have a
more severe need for housing than anv other gproup in the United
States, including American Indians and Alaska Natives.

I would like to begin by quoting from the first study we will ad-
dress this morning, the supplemental report on Native Hawaiian
housing needs of the National Commission on American Indian,
Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Housing.

This report found that

A tragic irony exists. The very Federal Government that gave Native Hawaiians
exclusive right to their Home Lands now denies them access to existing Federal
housing and infrastructure programs which would promote development of adequate
housing and related infrastructure on these lands.

In short, Native Hawaiians have the use but not the enjoyment of their birthright.
This predicament is unacceptable.

(1)



This finding is based upon the unique legal construction that has
been placed on the status of the lands set aside under the Hawai-
ian Homes Commission Act and the status of those who are eligible
to reside on Hawaiian Home Lands.

Fortunately, the legal construction is not shared by all of the
agencies and departments of the United States that administer
programs which hold a potential for assisting Native Hawaiians in
securing access to health care, education, and other fiindamental
governmental services. But when it comes to housing, we have a
very different story.

Last week I met with the Secretary of the Department of Hous-
ing and Urban Development, Mr. Cisneros, in Washington. We dis-
cussed the problems confronting Native Hawaiians as they try to
secure access to Federal housing programs that are enjoyed by all
other eligible Americans, and we decided that together we are
going to commit our efforts to changing this history.

We will meet again next week in Washington to begin to map out
a strategy for addressing the housing needs of Native Hawaiians,
identifying and removing administrative impediments to access,
and, if necessary, the development of legislative authority to over-
come any statutory obstacles.

The most recently-issued report, which will be addressed today,
combined a variety of indicators to construct an index on the hous-
ing readiness of homestead applicants. To summarize, these are the
results:

An estimated 6 percent of Native Hawaiians eligible to reside on
Hawaiian Home Lands have little capability to finance a home.

An estimated 23 percent will be able to stay in the rental mar-
ket, but only with financial assistance.

An estimated 19 percent can rent, but would not likely be able
to buy a home in today's market.

An estimated 5 percent are on the borderline between rental and
homeowner markets. These applicants can afford market-level
rents, but need assistance to buy or build a home.

An estimated 20 percent require assistance to become home-
owners.

An estimated 15 percent of applicants may not be able to pur-
chase top-of-the-market houses, but they are qualified to become
homeowners.

Only 11 percent of eligible beneficiaries would not have serious
problems securing a home.

In contrast to those who might qualify to secure financing are
the homeless. In 1990, non-Hawaiian etnnic groups had a home-
lessness rate of 6.1 per thousand. The Native Hawaiian rate was
exactly double that at 12.2 per thousand. While housing problems
plague Native Hawaiians generally, these studies found that Ha-
waiian Home Lands beneficiaries have a far greater need for hous-
ing than Native Hawaiians, as a whole.

Compounding these problems is the finding that 10 percent of
Native Hawaiians lack access to either a public water supply or
well.

By any estimate, these findings document conditions of over-
crowding, housing of inferior quality, and lack of viable alternatives
that exceed that of any other segment of the American population.



So we are here this morning to begin charting a new course to
reverse the sad and the horrible history that these studies docu-
ment.

Armed with this information, it is my hope that we will have the
foundation upon which new and brighter prospects for Native Ha-
waiian s can be built.

I would like to call upon Senator Akaka.

STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL K. AKAKA, U.S. SENATOR FROM

HAWAH

Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I appreciate being here with you to receive testimony on three re-
ports relating to the housing needs of Native Hawaiians.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to commend you for bringing us to
this point. A lot of groundwork leading to today's hearing is a re-
sult of your leadership.

From the findings and recommendations of the three reports to
the informal workshops and discussions that you have held with
housing administrators and the Hawaiian community, I believe
that we are on the right course in assessing how the Federal Gov-
ernment can best help Native Hawaiians in nousing.

Last year the Federal Government took a giant step in resolving
outstanding land claims when President Clinton signed the Hawai-
ian Home Lands Recovery Act. I understand that the Native Amer-
ican Veterans' Home Loan Equity Act has served the Hawaiian
community well for the past few years since its enactment.

Althougn there is much that must be done by the Federal Gov-
ernment, I view these actions as a positive sign in the light of the
Federal Government's past history regarding Hawaiian Home
Lands.

Today's hearing will address other challenges facing the Federal
Government as it responds to the housing crisis that exists among
Hawaiian Home Lands and the community at large.

There are impediments, which some of the reports touched upon,
that exist at the Federal level. As a result, I believe that we must
be conscious of these issues, seeking creative remedies for Native
Hawaiian housing needs.

I look forward to hearing from all witnesses today.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Senator INOUYE. Thank you very much, Senator.

Now may I call upon Representative Neil Abercrombie.

STATEMENT OF HON. NEH. ABERCROMBIE, U.S.
REPRESENTATIVE FROM HAWAH

Mr. Abercrombie. Thank you very much. Senator Inouye.

With your permission, I would like your statement to be incor-
porated into the record as representing my own views. I don't be-
lieve they can be stated with any greater clarity.

I look forward to the testimony today to amplify the remarks
that you've already — the bench mark, I should say, that you've al-
ready established.

Senator Inouye. I thank you very much.

Now, if I may, I would like to call up the three witnesses, if they
will take their place: The State coordinator of the Honolulu district



office, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Gordan Y.
Furutani; the director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands,
State of Hawaii, KaH Watson; and the president of SMS Research
of Honolulu, James E. Dannemiller.

Gentlemen, welcome. If I may call upon the State coordinator of
HUD, Mr. Furutani.

STATEMENT OF GORDAN Y. FURUTANI, STATE COORDINATOR,
HONOLULU DISTRICT OFFICE, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING
AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, HONOLULU, HI

Mr. Furutani. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Senator Akaka, Representative
Abercrombie. I first want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding
this hearing today and providing the Department the opportunity
to comment on the need for housing for Native Hawaiians.

Secretary Cisneros regrets that ne could not be here this morn-
ing. However, you have his personal assurance that he will be as
responsive as possible working on issues which face Native Hawai-
ians.

I especially want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leader-
ship as a strong advocate for all Native people, including Native
Americans and Alaska Natives, as well. We especially appreciate
your efforts in recent years to preserve funding for HUD's Native
American programs in the face of severe proposed cutbacks.

People that care about the quality of life for Native Americans
are well served by your chairmanship.

We are also very pleased to work closely with you and vour staff
and members of the committee on the issue of housing for Native
Hawaiians.

I would like to begin by discussing the results of a report com-
missioned by HUD and conducted by the Urban Institute, which
depicts the very difficult housing situation for Native Hawaiians.

The HUD-funded study for Native Hawaiian housing problems
and needs for Native Hawaiians complements the companion De-
partment of Housing and Urban Development sponsored assess-
ment of American Indians and Alaska Native housing needs and
programs.

The Native Hawaiian study was initiated in 1994 at the request
of you, Mr. Chairman, and was finished in late 1995 under the di-
rection of the Urban Institute. The principal investigator was
Maris Mikelsons and the co-author was Dr. Karl Eschbach of the
University of Houston.

The key objective of this study was to assess the housing prob-
lems and need of Native Hawaiians, given the particular housing
conditions and market circumstances that exist in the State of Ha-
waii.

The analysis focuses on housing quality, overcrowding, and af-
fordability, has drawn heavily upon published and unpublished
tabulations from the U.S. Census, as the most comprehensive, reli-
able source of information on housing and population characteris-
tics.

Information was also gathered in Hawaii from knowledgeable
professionals and housing organizations about local housing charac-
teristics and concerns.



Data gathered permits an examination of the housing conditions
and needs of Native Hawaiians Hving in the continental United
States, as well as those living on Hawaiian Home Lands and in
other urban and rural areas or the State.

The 1990 census for the State of Hawaii reports a population
slightly over 1.1 million persons, of which approximately 140,000
persons, or 13 percent, self-reported that they were of Hawaiian
ancestry. Other surveys indicate that census data may under-count
people of Hawaiian ancestry and the total population may be as
large as 200,000.

Native Hawaiians live throughout the State of Hawaii, in Hono-
lulu as well as in rural communities in less-populated islands.

The 1990 census enumerated approximately 356,000 occupied
housing units in Hawaii, of which about 43,600, or 12 percent, were
occupied by a Hawaiian householder or spouse.

Approximately 75 percent of the State's population, and 67 per-
cent of Native Hawaiians, lived on the island of Oahu. The remain-
der of the population is distributed among six other islands, from
Hawaii to Niihau. The trend over the last two decades, according
to census figures, shows a slight increase in relative distribution of
the population from Oahu to the neighbor islands.

Or particular importance in assessing housing needs for Native
Hawaiians is housing provided on Hawaiian Home Lands for Na-
tive Hawaiians with indigenous ancestry. Much of the lands origi-
nally set aside for Home Lsinds appear to be difficult-to-develop
sites.

Using data from the 1990 census, it can be determined that as
of 1990 there were approximately 3,200 housing units on the Home
Lands. Of these units, 60 percent were located on Oahu, which rep-
resents only 3 percent of the total Home Land acreage.

The socioeconomic characteristics of the Home Land population
are somewhat different from those of Native Hawaiians living else-
where in the State. According to the 1990 census data, the Home
Land population is slightly older, less educated, and poorer com-
pared to Native Hawaiians and non-natives living in other areas of
Hawaii.

Nearly one-half of Native Hawaiian households experience one of
three types of housing problems: Affordability, overcrowding, and
structural inadequacy.

Overall, 20,500 Native Hawaiian households experience one or
more housing problems in 1990. The incidence of housing problems
was much greater for Native Hawaiian households than for non-
Natives. As expected, low income Native Hawaiians experience the
highest incidence of housing problems.

All households residing in Hawaii face extremely high housing
costs. This problem affects Native Hawaiians, in particular, be-
cause of their generally lower income, lower earnings. In response
to high housing costs. Native Hawaiians are more likely than non-
natives to live with subfamilies and have multiple wage earners.

The unavailability of affordable housing leads to nigh rates of
overcrowding and is a major housing issue for Native Hawaiians
living in the State with the country's highest housing costs.

Although the share of Native Hawaiian households with afford-
ability problems is virtually the same as the share for non-Native



Hawaiians, newly-formed Native Hawaiian households and those
who wish to relocate face high housing costs, especially in the Hon-
olulu metropolitan area. Honolulu has a median single family de-
tached home price of more than $360,000 in 1994, while median
monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in 1993 was $1,100.

Over one-third of Native Hawaiian households who rent were
overcrowded in 1990, compared to 16 percent for non-Native Ha-
waiian households. Homeowners also experience overcrowding: 21
percent of Native Hawaiian owners, compared to 11 percent for
non-natives, report being overcrowded.

The condition of housing for Native Hawaiians living in rural
areas is generally of lower quality than for non-native Hawaiians.
While only 3,700 Native Hawaiian households, compared to 20,000
non-native Hawaiian households, reside in rural areas of the State,
a high percentage of rural Native Hawaiians live in older, less
structurally sound housing. Over 30 percent of all rural Native Ha-
waiians live in housing built before 1949. Of rural Native Hawaiian
households, 6 percent lack complete kitchen or plumbing facilities.

The housing needs of Native Hawaiians living on Hawaiian
Home Lands are different than those for Native Hawaiians living
elsewhere throughout the State.

Housing needs differ on Home Lands from other areas for Native
Hawaiians in part because the average cost of housing on the
Home Lands tends to be less than those in other areas of Hawaii.
This difference is due, in part, to various forms of housing loans
and subsidies made available for home construction and repairs on
Home Lands by the State's Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
Affordability problems are, therefore, lower for Home Land owner
residents than for other Native households who own housing.

Overcrowding is experienced by 30 percent of the households liv-
ing on the Home Land where the presence of subfamilies is also
higher than it is for Native Hawaiians living in other areas of the
State. However, only 1,5 percent of Home Land housing units had
facility problems, compared to 4 percent of rural Native Hawaiian
homeowners.

Home ownership opportunities for Native Hawaiians have de-
creased due to rapid increases in housing costs. The State of Ha-
waii's low home ownership rate is largely attributed to low house-
hold incomes, but also to housing supply considerations, including
high land costs.

Lower income Native Hawaiians are susceptible to diminishing
home ownership opportunities when home prices increase. The
mean value of a single family housing unit in Honolulu County in-
creased, for example, from $159,000 in 1986 to more than $360,000
in 1994. The estimated probability of a Native Hawaiian household
with income less than 80 percent of regional median income owning
a home in 1990 was only 29 percent.

A survey of housing needs in Hawaii conducted in 1992 revealed
that 76 percent of Native Hawaiian householders who planned to
move out of the State were influenced by housing prices.

Housing for Native Hawaiians is likely to be in short supply in
the foreseeable future, due to expected population growth and cur-
rent housing production trends.



In July, 1994, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population
for the State of Hawaii at 1,178,000, or a 1.5 percent annual in-
crease from the 1990 census figure. Projecting this growth rate to
the year 2000 produces an estimate of 431,000 households, for an
increase of 16 percent over a 10-year period.

Because of its younger age structure, the number of Native Ha-
waiian households in Hawaii is likely to increase at a more rapid
rate than that for the population at large. It is expected that the
43,000 households in 1990 with a Native Hawaiian householder or
spouse will increase by 56,000 by the year 2000, an increase of 30
percent over a 10-year period.

The actual number of Native Hawaiian households formed in the
1990's and remaining in Hawaii will depend in part on the avail-
ability of affordable housing.

Mr. Chairman, despite these very difficult conditions in which
Native Hawaiians find themselves. Federal aid and assistance has
not been readily forthcoming. As you well know, there have been
a number of barriers which have prevented Native Hawaiians from
fully participating in HUD's programs.

Let me reemphasize the commitment that Secretary Cisneros
made to you last week when you met with him at your offices.
HUD will work closely with you and your staff to look for ways to
eliminate or mitigate these obstacles as quickly as possible. We
hope to begin this process next week when your staff returns to
Washington, DC, where we have already scheduled a meeting to re-
view the programmatic and legal issues at hand.

The Department proposes to respond to the findings of the Na-
tive Hawaiian housing study by taking the following actions:

First, in consultation with the Department of Justice, discuss op-
tions regarding a legal opinion which will set forward greater flexi-
bility for Native Hawaiians to use HUD programs than has been
possible in the past.

Develop a comprehensive review of HUD programs to insure that
they are being made fully available to Native Hawaiians residing
in the Home Lands.

Institute an internal intra-agency work group chaired by the Of-
fice of Native American Programs.

Work with the Senator's staff to identify statutory revisions to
existing programs which could be used to better serve Native Ha-
waiians.

Work more closely with the State of Hawaii at both the head-
quarters and field office level to insure that maximum attention is
given to this challenging housing problem. A component in this ef-
fort would be to hold a series of sessions with State officials and
Native Hawaiian groups to assess what the Department could do
to remove program barriers.

Provide a 6-month assessment of these activities to the Senator
to ascertain progress which has been made.

Furthermore, as soon as these initial steps have taken place, the
department will convene a week-long working session in Hawaii
where the State of Hawaii's government departments. Native Ha-
waiians, and other interested citizens can express their concerns
and suggestions for a more-productive relationship with this de-
partment.



8

Mr. Chairman, let me again thank you for allowing HUD to par-
ticipate in this hearing. I'm sure that, working together, we can de-
velop solutions to address the housing needs of Native Hawaiians.

Senator Inouye. Thank you very much, Mr. Furutani.

I now call on Mr. Watson.

STATEME^P^ OF KALI WATSON, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF
HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS, STATE OF HAWAH, HONOLULU, HI

Mr. Watson. Good morning, Senator Inouye, Senator Akaka, and
Representative Abercrombie.

I appreciate this opportunity to testify before this Senate Com-
mittee on Indian Affairs. I view it as the opportunity to kind of ex-
press some of the concerns that I have at the State level.

I think these studies clearly identify the problems facing our Ha-
waiian people regarding affordabilitv, overcrowding, and structural
integrity, or inadequacy of some of the existing housing that they're
located in.

In the studies that we've done — and obviously what is very ap-
parent is that the biggest demand is housing. When you combine
that with all the various socio-economic problems such as unem-
ployment, health, lack of education, child neglect, spouse abuse,
and homelessness, as well as the reality that there are a lot of Ha-
waiians that are starting to and have moved to the mainland be-
cause of the inability and lack of affordable housing, I think this
opportunity to conduct the hearing is a tremendous opportunity to
put together something that might really make a difference.

I'm very happy to hear from Gordan Furutani that his office or
department has already identified steps to move the program for-
ward, and I look forward to working with him in trying to fashion
a solution to this problem.

With respect to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, we
have over 28,000 applications presently, and there are about 13,000
to 15,000 of those applicants that are asking for housing.

In the studies that we've done, we estimate that there are ap-



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on IndiNative Hawaiian housing and home lands : hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, second session, on housing needs of Native Hawaiians, July 3, 1996, Honolulu, HI → online text (page 1 of 34)