THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2442

TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to affordable housing.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that Hawaii's isolated location, more than 2,000 miles away from the nearest continent, means that the State faces some unique challenges related to affordable housing.  The lack of available land, low wage positions coupled with the high cost of living, the high cost of construction, and shortage of public funds are only some of the factors that have contributed to one of the lowest rates of home ownership in the country and a strong need for affordable rental housing.

     The legislature further finds that renters in Hawaii face many challenges.  A 2011 Center for Housing Policy report noted that Honolulu was tied for being the least affordable city for renters nationwide.  Honolulu was also ranked the third most expensive city for rentals.  The need for affordable housing in Hawaii also affects moderate-income families.  Individuals falling into this "gap group" of average wage earners face challenges, as they earn too much to qualify for low-income housing programs, yet earn too little to afford market rate housing.

     The legislature also finds that according to the 2011 Hawaii Housing Planning Survey, the number of new housing units that will have to be built between 2012 and 2016 to meet new demand generated by changing demographic and economic conditions might be as high as 50,000.  Units that are not built represent the shortage of units needed to fill the total demand for housing units.  This shortage, known as "needed units", is the difference between total housing demand and expected supply.  The projected number of "needed units" in the State through 2016 includes over 6,000 ownership units and 13,000 rental units for households with less than eighty per cent of the area median income.  During this same five-year period, about 2,600 affordable for-sale units and over 2,100 rental units will be needed to meet the housing requirements of households earning between eighty per cent and one hundred forty per cent of the area median income; these are households that fall into the "gap group" of wage earners.

     The legislature additionally finds that rising housing costs are also associated with increased homelessness or families at-risk of becoming homeless.  According to the 2012 Homeless Service Utilization Report developed by the Center on the Family at the University of Hawaii, a total of 13,980 individuals statewide experienced homelessness and received shelter or outreach services during the 2012 fiscal year.  This figure includes those individuals who are at risk of losing their housing.

     The legislature finds that Hawaii has a definite, immediate need for affordable housing.  Addressing these needs will be a challenge because of the sheer number of units needed to meet demand and the various barriers that can prevent development and preservation of affordable housing.  Therefore, the public sector, the private sector, and other interested stakeholders in the community must work together to ensure that Hawaii's residents have access to affordable housing.

     The purpose of this Act is to support Hawaii's goal of meeting the projected number of needed affordable housing units in the State by appropriating funds to the rental housing trust fund.  To ensure the continued development of affordable housing, appropriations to the rental housing trust fund must be made each year through fiscal year 2017-2018.

     SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $100,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2014-2015 for the rental housing trust fund for the purpose of building affordable rental housing projects, including projects with micro units, family units, and elder housing units; provided that the housing projects or units shall be leased to persons and families within a range of family incomes that do not exceed one hundred per cent of the area median income, as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the county or standard metropolitan statistical area in which the projects are located; provided further that at least forty per cent of the units within the housing projects shall be reserved for persons and families within a range of family incomes that do not exceed sixty per cent of the area median  income, as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the county or standard metropolitan statistical area in which the projects are located.

     For purposes of this appropriation, "micro unit" means a dwelling unit with a total floor area of not less than two hundred twenty square feet and containing a separate closet, kitchen sink, cooking appliance, refrigeration facilities, and separate bathroom containing a toilet and a bathtub or shower.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation for the purposes of this Act.

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2014.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Affordable Housing; Rental Housing Trust Fund; Appropriation

 

Description:

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.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.