Hoʻokahua Waiwai, Economic Self-Sufficiency: To have choices and a sustainable future, Native Hawaiians will progress towards greater economic self-sufficiency. Learn more about the work we do at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to create systemic change in Hoʻokahua Waiwai, Economic Self-Sufficiency.


Typically, homeownership is a sign of economic prosperity and security, but for Native Hawaiians, homeownership is uniquely special as it also provides the opportunity to reaffirm and perpetuate ancestral ties to one’s kulaiwi (homeland). The owner occupancy rate is calculated by dividing the number of owner occupied units by the total number of units.

Of the 68,435 housing units occupied by Native Hawaiians or part-Hawaiians in 2012, 55.4% were owner occupied, an increase from 55% in 2011 and only surpassed by the peak in 2008. Of the 67,710 housing units occupied by Native Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians in 2011, 55% were owner-occupied and 45% were renter-occupied. This is a slight increase over 2010 levels, but still 1.5% below the most recent high of 56.6% in 2008.

Hawai'i Trends in owner-occupied residences: 2003, 2006, 2009

Native Hawaiian Housing Stability by Type in Hawai'i, 2009

Native Hawaiians in Owner/Renter Occupied Housing Units by County in Hawai'i: 2006-2010

Comparison of Average Household Size

Comparison of Housing Characteristics of Native Hawaiians

This map shows the 2014 Department of Hawaiian Home Lands general leases.

OHA Mālama Loan Program

OHA has approved 277 awards totaling over $5.6m of Mālama Loans utilized towards housing since 2010.

OHA Kuleana Land Tax Program

Real property zoned residential or agricultural, any portion of which is designated as kuleana land, as long as the property is owned in whole or in part by a lineal descendant of the person(s) that received the original title to the kuleana land. Since 2010, 804 parcels received a kuleana land tax exmemption. This assessed value is approximately $407 million. OHA supports applicants accessing this exemption through its Advocacy group.


Native Hawaiian: Any descendant of the aboriginal peoples inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands which exercised sovereignty and subsisted in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, and which peoples thereafter have continued to reside in Hawaiʻi.
 Code used for selecting statistics was #062: Native Hawaiian (alone or in any combination (ACS Code #602) 500-503) & (100-299) or (300, A01-Z99) or (400-999).
Owner Occupied: A housing unit is owner occupied if the owner or co-owner lives in the unit even if it is mortgaged or not fully paid for. The owner or co-owner must live in the unit and usually is Person 1 on the (ACS) questionnaire. The unit is “Owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan” if it is being purchased with a mortgage or some other debt arrangement such as a deed of trust, trust deed, contract to purchase, land contract, or purchase agreement. The unit is also considered owned with a mortgage if it is built on leased land and there is a mortgage on the unit. Mobile homes occupied by owners with installment loan balances are also included in this category (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006).


U.S. Census Bureau. (2013). American Community Survey (ACS): 1-year Estimates: 2006-2012. Site:http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_11_1YR_S0201&prodType=table · Report: S0201 Selected Population Profile in the United States, 2011 American

  • Community Survey, 1 year estimates (Also 2005-2010)
  • Filter State: Hawaiʻi
  • Ethnic Group Code #062: Native Hawaiian alone or in any combination (500-503) & (100-299) or (300, A01-Z99) or (400-999).
  • Row/Subject: Gross Rent as a percentage of Household Income in the past 12 months (less than 30%; 30% or greater)

U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2006).American Community Survey (ACS): 2004 Subject Definitions. Retrieved April 24, 2013 from http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ datadocumentation/SubjectDefinitions/2004ACSSubjectDefinitions.pdf

OHA Research Disclaimer. The data presented have been vetted for accuracy; however, there is no warranty that it is error-free. The data itself does not represent or confer any legal rights of any kind. Please use suggested citation and report discrepancies to the OHA Research Division.


OHA ESS Indicator Sheet, Homeownership 2013

OHA ESS Indicator Sheet, Homeownership 2012

Learn more about the work we do at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to create systemic change in Hoʻokahua Waiwai, Economic Self-Sufficiency.