HONOLULU (KHON2) — The federal government announced on Monday it will transfer land that once housed the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

In 1998, the Interior Department and Hawaii identified a site for transfer under the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust. In 2000, that site became unavailable, leaving a credit of $16.9 million owed to the Trust by the United States.

“The Native Hawaiian Community has waited more than 20 years for the federal government to address a $16.9-million credit owed by the United States to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Today’s action is an important step in our commitment to resolving the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act settlement. We thank the Department of Commerce, General Services Administration, State of Hawaii and Native Hawaiian Community members who provided their input during consultation on this transfer.”

According to officials, the 80-acre parcel in Ewa Beach has the potential to provide up to 400 homesteads for Native Hawaiian families.

“Residential lots on Oahu are of the highest demand from applicants on the waiting list. This land transfer is an opportunity for beneficiaries that is truly in line with the spirit of the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act,” said William J. Aila, Jr., Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission.