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Team submits report on creating affordable rental housing

By Staff | Aug 9, 2018

Governor David Ige (fourth from right) receives the affordable rental housing report/ten-year plan from the Special Action Team.

HONOLULU – The Special Action Team on Affordable Rental Housing recently presented Gov. David Ige with its recommendations on how to meet the state’s goal of creating at least 22,500 affordable rental housing units by 2026.

The team was created by the State Legislature (Act 127) in 2016.

“From day one, my administration’s top priority has been to build homes to meet the needs of our average family in Hawaii. Thanks to the diligent work of the Special Action Team, legislators, local and state agencies, and developers will be equipped with the most up-to-date insights on how to make Hawaii a more affordable place to live,” said Ige.

“This ten-year plan is really an exemplification of collaboration between the governor, the legislature, the state housing agencies as well as all four counties collaborating together to develop a plan to build more workforce rentals for the future,” said developer and Special Action Team member Stanford Carr.

The new report identifies public and private lands suitable for affordable rental housing. Using the state’s Geographic Information System (GIS), the report maps out 10,688 acres of state, county and privately owned lands ideal for rental housing development.

The report also includes policy recommendations and establishes performance measures and timelines.

The team is seeking a commitment from the Hawaii Legislature for $100 million for the Rental Housing Revolving Fund and $10 million for the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund every year for the next ten years. Although the funding request would not be sufficient to complete 22,500 units, it would start the momentum toward achieving that goal.

“This would begin to gear up the private sector. This provides the baseline that would begin the consistent production of affordable rental housing projects that would attract the activities necessary to complete the 22,500 units,” Gov. Ige said.

According to the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation (HHFDC), of the projects awarded during the current administration, 433 affordable units are now under construction.

In addition, 5,946 units are in the pipeline/pending phase, of which 5,235 are affordable.