HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1378

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

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 the State faces an unprecedented economic crisis due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has decimated Hawaii's economy and caused its gross domestic product to plummet. By some measures, Hawaii's economy has been hit harder than any other state in the nation.

The legislature also finds that this drastic decline in economic activity has disproportionately affected the State's most vulnerable populations. The pandemic forced the shutdown of many sectors of the State's economy, triggering mass layoffs and furloughs and causing the State's seasonally adjusted unemployment to surge from 2.4 per cent in March 2020 to a historical high of 22.3 per cent in April 2020. Despite efforts to reopen the economy, Hawaii still had the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation as of November 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage throughout the world, most countries experiencing recession, and visitor arrivals to the State not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024, the State will continue to feel the economic impacts of the pandemic for many years to come.

The legislature further finds that, even before the pandemic, renter households in the State already suffered from deleteriously high housing cost burdens, and that the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly exacerbated this situation. Recent data from the university of Hawaii economic research organization (UHERO) showed that more than eleven thousand Hawaii tenants have fallen behind on their rent payments and that forty per cent of rental tenants have lost their jobs. Modeling from UHERO indicates that up to seventeen thousand households may face an unsustainable change in their housing cost burden by the second quarter of 2021, even as the State's economy slowly recovers. Even in a best-case scenario, the number of individuals facing homelessness will continue to rise in the face of the pandemic. UHERO concluded that, from a policy standpoint, "doing nothing is not a viable option."

Accordingly, the legislature finds that it must take immediate action to mitigate the affordable housing crisis through legislation.

The purpose of this Act is to authorize the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation to reimburse any qualified person or firm for any predevelopment costs of certain affordable rental housing projects.

SECTION 2. Chapter 201H, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to subpart A of part III to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"201H- Reimbursement of predevelopment costs for affordable rental housing projects. (a) The corporation shall reimburse all predevelopment costs incurred by any qualified person or firm that develops a project to provide affordable rental housing; provided that reimbursement under this section shall be limited to projects certified or approved by the corporation pursuant to section 201H-36.

(b) The corporation shall use moneys from the rental housing revolving fund established pursuant to section 201H-202 or the dwelling unit revolving fund established pursuant to section 201H-191 to make any reimbursement under this section.

(c) For purposes of this section, "predevelopment costs" means predevelopment expenses that are customarily incurred and that have been actually incurred by a qualified person or firm in connection with the development of a project to provide affordable rental housing that has been certified or approved by the corporation pursuant to section 201H-36; provided that predevelopment expenses shall include any: architectural, engineering, or related professional services required to prepare plans, specifications, or work write-ups; application, commitment, or origination fees in connection with construction or permanent financing; security services; land use entitlements; building permits; development fees; utilities fees; property insurance; title and other insurance; legal and accounting fees; tests to determine the condition of the development site; costs of environmental review; property taxes; and fees for financial and advisory services."

SECTION 3. Section 201H-191, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) There is created a dwelling unit revolving fund. The funds appropriated for the purpose of the dwelling unit revolving fund and all moneys received or collected by the corporation for the purpose of the revolving fund shall be deposited in the revolving fund. The proceeds in the revolving fund shall be used to reimburse the general fund to pay the interest on general obligation bonds issued for the purposes of the revolving fund, for the necessary expenses in administering housing development programs and regional state infrastructure programs, and for carrying out the purposes of housing development programs and regional state infrastructure programs, including but not limited to the expansion of community facilities and regional state infrastructure constructed in conjunction with housing and mixed-use transit-oriented development projects, permanent primary or secondary financing, [and] reimbursement for predevelopment costs for affordable rental housing projects pursuant to section 201H- , supplementing building costs, federal guarantees required for operational losses, and all things required by any federal agency in the construction and receipt of federal funds or lowincome housing tax credits for housing projects."

SECTION 4. Section 201H-204, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Activities eligible for assistance from the fund shall include but not be limited to:

(1) New construction, rehabilitation, or preservation of low-income rental housing units that meet the criteria for eligibility described in subsection (c);

(2) The leveraging of moneys with the use of fund assets;

(3) Pre-development activity grants or loans to nonprofit organizations[; and] or any qualifying person or firm pursuant to section 201H- ; and

(4) Acquisition of housing units for the purpose of preservation as low-income or very low-income housing."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

HHFDC; Affordable Housing; Predevelopment Costs; Financing; Reimbursement; Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund; Rental Housing Revolving Fund

 

Description:

Authorizes the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation to reimburse any qualified person or firm for any predevelopment costs of certain affordable rental housing projects. Includes reimbursement for predevelopment costs for certain affordable rental housing projects among the permissible uses of dwelling unit revolving fund and rental housing revolving fund moneys.

 

 

 

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