Henderson Huihui

  • Hosted by Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Law school The University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law
  • Issue area Indigenous Peoples' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Henderson will provide comprehensive outreach and advocacy to assist the over 60,000 eligible Native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands program in applying for and keeping homestead housing.

Too many Native Hawaiians are landless in their own birthplace. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ (DHHL) homesteading program—which offers 99 year homestead leases at $1 per year for residential, agricultural, or pastoral purposes to Native Hawaiians with at least 50% blood quantum—is the best affordable housing option for Native Hawaiians today. More leases for homesteads must be issued, and those fortunate enough to receive a lease need assistance meeting their legal and financial obligations. Lease cancellation risks intergenerational disruption, since leases may be extended for up to 199 years total, and exacerbates Hawaii’s homeless crisis, which is the worst in the country and affects Native Hawaiians disproportionately.

Intervening early, when the risk of lease cancellation or losing a homesteading opportunity is still preventable, is vital. Henderson’s project will focus on common issues faced by DHHL beneficiaries, including lease cancellations, foreclosures, successorship rights, and complex administrative regulations that beneficiaries often navigate alone and without the benefit of legal and other advocacy.

Henderson’s upbringing in the Waimānalo, Oʻahu homesteading community helped inform the creation of this project. Witnessing first-hand the challenges members of his community face, the potential long-term benefits the Home Lands program offers Native Hawaiian families, and the stories of struggle and triumph shared by kupuna (elders) motivated Henderson to find a way to empower and advocate for his community.

Fellowship Plans

Henderson’s project will empower DHHL beneficiaries by educating them on their legal rights and procedures related to DHHL homesteading opportunities, providing direct legal services, advocating for policy reform, and fostering community partnerships and collaboration—all in service to DHHL beneficiaries and homesteading communities statewide.

Media

UH Law graduate Henderson Huihui Awarded Prestigious National Legal Rights Fellowship To Work With Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.

Having benefitted from the homestead program, I fully understand the intergenerational stability a homestead provides an ʻohana (family). Homesteading opportunities can make the difference between stable housing or no housing at all.

Henderson Huihui /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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