Promised Land

A Failed Housing Pledge to Native Hawaiians

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and ProPublica are investigating the decadeslong failure of the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to return Native Hawaiians to ancestral lands.

Do You Live in the Kanehili or Kauluokahai Subdivisions? We Have Questions About the Quality of Your Homes.

We hope to talk to one person from each of the roughly 500 homes in the Kanehili and Kauluokahai subdivisions of Kapolei, Honolulu. Help us hold the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands accountable.

The U.S. Broke Its Promise to Return Land to Hawaiians. My Family Knows Something About Land Loss.

For the last year, reporter Rob Perez has been investigating Native land dispossession in Hawaii. His story starts long before in Guam, where his family had its own brush with land takings.

The U.S. Owes Hawaiians Millions of Dollars Worth of Land. Congress Helped Make Sure the Debt Wasn’t Paid.

In a 1995 law, the U.S. promised to pay its land debt to Hawaiians, thousands of whom are waiting for homes. But Congress, including the state’s own delegation, voted to give the land to other parties.

How the Deals Approved by Congress Bypassed Thousands of Hawaiians Waiting for Homes

A 1995 law sought to repay land debt to Native Hawaiians. But when excess plots became available, much of the desirable land went elsewhere through private sales. Here's how the deals were authorized.

Hawaii’s Big Fix to Its Housing Shortage for Native Hawaiians? A Casino.

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is pushing a plan to build a casino on ancestral land to raise money for more housing. This happened just after the Star-Advertiser and ProPublica found chronic problems in the state’s native land program.

The Government Promised to Return Ancestral Hawaiian Land, Then Never Finished the Job

Native Hawaiians are still waiting for state and federal officials to fulfill the promises of land legislation that was signed into law 25 years ago. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” said one former governor.

To Reclaim Ancestral Land, All Native Hawaiians Need Is a $300,000 Mortgage and to Wait in Line for Decades

A 100-year-old program created to provide Native Hawaiians — especially poor ones — land to live on after the U.S. annexed the islands is failing. Thousands have died waiting in line and even more can’t afford the mortgages they’d need.

How We Found Low-Income Hawaiians Were Left Behind by the Homesteading Program

ProPublica’s first-of-its-kind analysis showed that a Native Hawaiian housing program left behind much of the community it was supposed to help. Here’s how we did it.

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