The homeless population in Hawaii continues to rise Photo: Emily Metcalf
Photo: Emily Metcalf

HONOLULU – State lawmakers on Wednesday announced a package of priorities to address affordable housing and homelessness for the 2014 legislative session.

Much of the package focuses on a variety of funding mechanisms to help put more working individuals and families who find themselves homeless into safe and stable living environments.

“About 40 percent of Hawaii’s homeless are people who work and just can’t find affordable housing,” said Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, chair of the Senate Committee on Human Services. “In 2011, the Hawaii Housing Planning Study revealed that 50,000 new units would need to be built between 2012 and 2016 to meet new demand generated by changing demographic and economic conditions. Of that amount and based on HUD Income Guidelines, about 19,000 new units are needed for household incomes of 80 percent of area median income and below.”

“One place where we can start to make improvements is supporting programs addressing the shortfall in affordable rental housing units,” she added. “We can do this by restoring to 50 percent the allocation of the conveyance tax collections to the rental housing trust fund. We reduced it to 20 percent during the recession to address the State’s budget crisis; however, it’s time we restored these funds, which would provide for about 30 million dollars a year to build more affordable housing.”

Other bills in the package provide support for Housing First, creates a universal children’s savings account program, and establishes a home ownership revolving fund, among others. (See below for list of all measures introduced as part of the Housing & Homeless Legislative Package.)

The package is a collaborative effort of the Housing and Homeless Task Force, which was created to bring together homeless service provider, businesses, developers, financial institutions, current and former homeless individuals, and representatives of all levels of government. It aims to address Hawaii’s housing shortage and to create viable solutions to address homelessness.

 

Priorities of the 2014 Housing & Homeless Legislative Package

Bill Number

Description

SB2533
HB1935

Relating to Affordable Housing
Appropriates funds to improve and increase the existing public housing stock in the State. Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds for deposit into the rental housing trust fund and the dwelling unit revolving fund to finance affordable rental housing development and infrastructure development. Appropriates funds for the construction of micro apartment housing units. Appropriates funds to build housing for beneficiaries on homestead land. Appropriates funds to build affordable housing projects for veterans.

SB2535

HB1934

Relating to Housing

Part I: Appropriates funds to the department of health for substance abuse treatment, mental health support services, and clean and sober housing services. Part II: Appropriates funds for a rental assistance program, also known as a shallow subsidy program. Parts III and IV: Appropriates funds to the department of human services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless individuals and to reestablish the homeless prevention and rapid re-housing program. Part V: Appropriates matching funds for the federal continuum of care permanent supportive housing programs to provide rental assistance in connection with supportive services. Part VI: Appropriates funds for the homeless assistance working group. Part VII: Transfers the homeless assistance working group from the department of human services to the legislature. Requires the chairpersons of the senate and house of representatives committees on human services to convene the homeless assistance working group instead of the director of human services, or a designee.

SB2542

Similar: HB2059

Relating to the Disposition of the Conveyance Tax Collections to the Rental Housing Trust Fund
Restores the allocation of conveyance tax collections to the rental housing trust fund to fifty per cent beginning 7/1/2014.

SB2266

No HB

Relating to Housing
Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds for deposit into the rental housing trust fund and the dwelling unit revolving fund for the purposes of financing affordable rental housing development and infrastructure development.

SB2442

No HB

Relating to Affordable Housing

Appropriates funds for the rental housing trust fund to build affordable rental housing projects, including projects with micro units, family units, and elder housing units.


SB2543

No HB

Relating to Housing

Establishes the homeownership revolving fund to assist households whose income does not exceed eighty per cent of the area median income by allowing the households to pay no debt service at zero per cent interest for the first sixty months and then pay interest on a graduated scale.

SB2545

No HB

Relating to Universal Children’s Savings Accounts

Creates a Universal Children’s Savings Account Program under the Department of Budget and Finance. Establishes and appropriates funds into the Universal Children’s Savings Account Trust Fund.

 

 

Others bills in the 2014 Housing & Homeless Legislative Package

SB2265 – makes an appropriation to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to improve the existing public housing stock and increase the supply of public housing units in the State

SB2267 – makes an appropriation to the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation for the construction of micro apartment housing units

SB2536 – appropriates funds to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to build housing for beneficiaries on homestead land

SB2537 – appropriates funds to the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation to build affordable housing projects for veterans

SB2532/HB1947 – provides an exemption from, or reduction in, school impact fees for housing developments in which at least 40% of the units are rented or sold to persons or families earning up to 80% of the area median income

SB2539 – allows the Hawaii Community Development Authority to sell reserve housing, without legislative approval and in fee simple under certain conditions

SB2268 – requires a portion of the general excise tax to be deposited into the Hawaiian home administration account for operational expenses

SB2269 – requires the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to designate a resident manager at each federal housing complex and state low-income public housing project

SB2540 – establishes a rental deposit loan program within the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation to assist low income and homeless individuals and families in obtaining affordable rental housing

SB2534/HB1841 – establishes the Hale Kokua Program to incentivize homeowners statewide to set aside dwelling units for rental by families or individuals classified as employed but homeless

SB2541 – appropriates funds for the redevelopment, design and construction of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s administrative offices on School Street and the creation of elderly housing

SB2538 – establishes the Hawaii Home Loan Guarantee Program to assist residents who have a steady, low or modest income, and yet are unable to obtain conventional financing with obtaining a home loan from a commercial lender that is guaranteed by the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation.

SCR2 – Concurrent resolution to encourage the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation and Hawaii Community Development Authority to build sustainable, multi-generational, mixed income and mixed use housing.

 

To access the Housing & Homeless Legislative Package online, visit www.Capitol.Hawaii.Gov and click on “Reports and Lists” then “Measures by Package” and select
“Housing and Homeless Legislative Package”.

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