Bill would lower Hawaiian blood requirement for homesteads - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bill would lower Hawaiian blood requirement for homesteads

By MARINA RIKER
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are considering a bill to reduce the blood quantum for Native Hawaiians to receive Hawaiian home lands from relatives.

Right now, Hawaiian homestead beneficiaries can only transfer land to descendants who are at least 25 percent Hawaiian. The bill would lower the requirement to 1/32.

Supporters of the bill say it will help lease holders' descendants stay on family land, regardless of whether they marry non-Hawaiians.

Under the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920, those with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood can receive 99-year homestead leases for $1 per year. There are more than 27,000 applicants on the program's waitlist.

Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness per-capita in the nation. State data shows Native Hawaiians made up about one-fifth of unsheltered homeless in Hawaii in 2014.

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