H.C.R. NO.














urging the RE-CONVENING of THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING TASK FORCE to FURTHER address issues of homelessness, public housing, and affordable housing.




     WHEREAS, over the past several years, the issue of affordable housing came to the forefront of people's minds due to rising home prices driven by a period of unprecedented economic growth in the State; and


     WHEREAS, whenever the supply of available housing is less than the demand, low and moderate income housing is often difficult to secure; and


     WHEREAS, in these housing markets, land values often outpace the capacity of incomes to keep up, making it difficult or costly to increase housing supply at rents or prices affordable to consumers at income ranges below the local average; and


     WHEREAS, the inability to easily find an affordable place to live can cause distress on families and individuals; and


     WHEREAS, urban planners also noticed other negative effects on a community's overall health where there is a lack of affordable housing, including making low-cost labor more scarce and increasing the demands on transportation systems; and


     WHEREAS, other studies and articles focused on U.S. cities have also been able to link the parallel trends of housing cost increases and declines in enrollment at local schools; and


     WHEREAS, according to ACCRA, a non-profit organization that researches community and economic development, Honolulu is the fifth most expensive city to live in the United States; and


     WHEREAS, in 2004, the 22nd Hawaii State Legislature passed S.C.R. 135, S.D. 1, which requested the convening of an affordable housing task force; and


     WHEREAS, the recommendations of the Affordable Housing Task Force include several long and short timeline strategic plans, priorities and recommendations, suggesting that continuous action be taken; and


     WHEREAS, four years have gone by since the first Affordable Housing Task Force meeting, at which they released a six year timeline for long-term plans; and


     WHEREAS, in the successive years following the first Affordable Housing Task Force was held, annual Housing Summits have been convened, but not to the widespread collaborative effort that occurred in 2004; and


     WHEREAS, the successes that the state has had stem from actions that are rooted in a philosophy and mindset of empowering individuals to "escalate" through the continuum of housing, from homelessness to shelter to public housing to affordable rentals and housing to mainstream housing, and viewing each step as a step and not a way of life or foregone conclusion; and


     WHEREAS, our State's economic situation, land accessibility and partnerships have now strengthened, suggesting that now would be a good time to further advance the tasks in tackling our homeless situation and re-visiting the short- and long-term goals and priorities of the 2004 Affordable Housing Task Force; and now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the Senate concurring, that the Public Housing Authority and the Homeless Efforts Achieving Results Together (HEART) Team is requested to reconvene the Affordable Housing Task Force to further develop new near- and long-term solutions to Hawaii's affordable housing shortage program, with respect to both ownership and rental markets; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force should include representatives from the appropriate state, county and federal agencies, developers, financial institutions, the real estate industry, and housing advocacy organizations; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature acknowledges and commends the Affordable Housing Task Force and HEART Team in its efforts to reduce homelessness in Hawaii, including the transition of 684 people into permanent housing, including renting their own rooms or apartments, transitional housing, and other housing arrangements; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that task force re-visit their discussions of the issues of:


     (1)  Incentives for the development of affordable housing;

     (2)  Acceleration of regulatory and permitting processes;

     (3)  Infrastructure issues;

     (4)  Implementation issues; and

     (5)  Incentives for affordable housing financing; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force further examine possible solutions to the above issues such as the promotion of ownership of public housing units through fee simple purchase, the promotion of public-private partnerships to purchase and/or manage affordable housing projects that the City and County of Honolulu is looking to sell, the possibility of expanded empowerment services in homeless shelters, public housing, and the Section 8 program, the increased promotion of public-private partnerships to develop more affordable rentals on vacant state lands, the possibility of streamlining permitting for affordable and low-income housing at the county level through financial incentives or carving out the permitting of affordable and low-income housing from counties with an expedited state process; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Public Housing Authority is requested to report its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2009; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to Governor, Executive Director of the Public Housing Authority, the Mayors of each county, the directors of the county housing agencies, Executive Director of the Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance, President of the Hawaii Association of Realtors, President of the Institute of Real Estate Manangement, President of the Hawaii Disability Rights Center, Executive Director of the Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii, President of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, and the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Hawaii.

























Report Title: 

Affordable Housing Task Force