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HHS/ACF RIN: 0970-AC84 Publication ID: Fall 2021 
Title: Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund Eligibility Requirements 
Abstract:

This regulation proposes to reduce the required Native Hawaiian ownership or control for an eligible applicant to the Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund program under 45 CFR 1336.62.

 
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services(HHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 45 CFR 1336   
Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2991   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund (NHRLF) was established to provide loans and loan guarantees to Native Hawaiians who are unable to obtain loans from private sources on reasonable terms and conditions for the purpose of promoting economic development in the State of Hawaii. Since many Native Hawaiians reside on leasehold interests that cannot be collateralized (Hawaiian Homelands), the NHRLF serves as an important lender of last resort for Native Hawaiian borrowers. Applicants for an NHRLF loan must be an individual Native Hawaiian or a 100 percent Native Hawaiian owned organization. To qualify for an NHRLF loan when one spouse is not Native Hawaiian, Native Hawaiian borrowers must establish or reorganize their business’ legal structure to exclude a non-Native Hawaiian spouse from ownership. As the 100 percent Native Hawaiian ownership requirement prevents many Native Hawaiian family-owned businesses and families from obtaining a loan, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) proposes to reduce the eligibility requirement to maximize loan funds and spur further economic development. This proposed change will likely increase the applicant pool and availability of loan proceeds to small Native Hawaiian-owned businesses and families whose credit would be deemed too risky for traditional lenders as businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a lender of last resort, this revolving loan fund has filled and will continue to fill a unique credit niche for Native Hawaiian-owned businesses.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

This NPRM is under the authority granted by section 803A of Native Americans Programs Act. That section directed ACF’s Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to develop the regulations that set forth the procedures and criteria for making loans under the NHRLF. Section 803A also permits the ANA Commissioner to prescribe any other regulations that the Commissioner determines are necessary to carry out the purposes of NHRLF.

Alternatives:

ACF reviewed alternatives to providing greater flexibility to NHRLF applicants that directly respond to barriers for accessing loans and other viable options were not identified.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

ANA does not provide loans directly to entities but does so through the regulated entity, the State of Hawaii’s Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The rule does not create additional requirements but provides flexibility by expanding eligibility and availability of loan proceeds to small entities.

Risks:

It is possible that this proposed change will increase business loan demand. There is also the possibility that businesses may act strategically to qualify for NHLRF loans by adding Native Hawaiian ownership. This restructuring may still benefit Native Hawaiians as more Native Hawaiians could become business partners with non-Native Hawaiians. Expansion of the program to more Native Hawaiian families is consistent with the policy goal of the statute which is promoting economic development among Native Hawaiians in Hawaii.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  12/00/2021 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Mirtha Beadle
Senior Policy Advisor
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
330 C Street SW,
Washington, DC 20201
Phone:202 401-6506
Email: mirtha.beadle@acf.hhs.gov