Rep. Scott Saiki
House Majority Leader Scott Saiki helped journalists this session by introducing an amendment that would keep the current law intact
Rep. Scott Saiki
Rep. Scott Saiki

REPORT FROM THE STATE HOUSE MAJORITY – Nearly 29 per cent of Hawaii’s population is over 50 years of age and with challenging economic conditions, the ability to meet monthly housing expenses is a constant and growing concern for senior renters.

The Hawaii House of Representatives passed HB276 HD2, which will provide an appropriation and allow for the issuance of general obligation bonds to support the construction of the Senior Residence at Piikoi, Oahu, an affordable rental housing project consisting of 72 affordable elderly rental apartments, community space, office space, and on-site parking.

A 2006 study found that “without incentives, tax credits, or financing breaks, a private for-profit developer would have to absorb approximately $200,000 loss per affordable unit.” One way the State can provide assistance to senior renters is to subsidize building costs, through lower costs of land, financing, or construction costs.

“The Senior Residence at Piikoi is an example of the convergence of the State’s housing objectives and policies,” said the bill’s introducer Rep. Scott Saiki (McCully, Kaheka, Kakaako, Downtown). “Located in the Ala Moana/Kakaako area of Honolulu in the vicinity of a major shopping mall, park and recreational facilities, quality medical care, public bus transportation, and the proposed fixed rail rapid transit system, this project is well situated for seniors.”