THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2206

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO HOMELESSNESS.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that homelessness is one of the most pressing problems in Hawaii, and a robust, comprehensive, long-term solution is needed to address Hawaii's affordable housing and homelessness crisis.

Nearly fifty years ago, in 1970, the State of Hawaii issued a report stating that Hawaii had been experiencing a "serious housing problem for many years" which had by then "become a crisis." In the decades since, the problem has worsened. The number of cost-burdened renters who pay more than thirty per cent of their income for rent went from less than a quarter of the population to over one half. High housing costs have driven more and more Hawaii residents into homelessness.

According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, on a single night in January 2018, California and Hawaii had the highest rates of homelessness among all individuals, with fifty‑nine and fifty-eight out of every ten thousand individuals, respectively, experiencing homelessness.

By making smart investments in homelessness programs and housing, using data-driven practices, and improving coordination, Hawaii has gradually begun to turn the tide on the homelessness crisis. In 2017, Hawaii's homelessness rate went down for the first time in eight years. In 2018, the legislature made unprecedented levels of investment in low-income housing and homelessness solutions, appropriating $200,000,000 for the rental housing revolving fund, $30,000,000 for the ohana zones pilot program, and $13,500,000 for other homelessness programs.

The legislature finds that investments of this scale must be made consistently in the coming years. Forty-seven per cent of the housing demand is for Hawaii's households earning below $45,000 per year, while seventy-four per cent is for households earning below $75,000 per year. Appropriations that allow for the rental housing revolving fund to be used to build housing at these affordability levels are critically important. Funding for this purpose needs to be steady, predictable, and long-term.

The purpose of this Act is to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriate funds for capital improvement projects consistent with the purposes of the rental housing revolving fund.

SECTION 2. The director of finance is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the sum of $200,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary is appropriated for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the purpose of financing capital improvement projects consistent with the purposes of section 201H-202(d), Hawaii Revised Statutes.

SECTION 3. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. The appropriation made for the capital improvement projects authorized by this Act shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal biennium for which the appropriation is made; provided that all moneys from the appropriation unencumbered as of June 30, 2022, shall lapse as of that date.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Rental Housing Revolving Fund; GO Bonds; Appropriation

 

Description:

Authorizes issuance of $200,000,000 in general obligation bonds and appropriates funds for capital improvement projects consistent with the purposes of the rental housing revolving fund.

 

 

 

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