THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

804

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to teacher rental housing.

 

 

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

 


PART I

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there is a severe shortage of qualified teachers in public-school classrooms throughout the State. Each year, the department of education looks for approximately one thousand two hundred teachers to fill vacancies. For the 2018-2019 school year, there were one thousand twenty-nine vacancies throughout the State, up from one thousand eleven during the 2017-2018 school year, and nine hundred twenty during the 2016-2017 school year. While there are teachers to fill all public-school classrooms, approximately six hundred of those classrooms are staffed by long-term substitutes, rather than full-time teachers.

The legislature further finds that the high cost of living and a lack of affordable housing in Hawaii are some of the factors contributing to teachers leaving the profession or leaving the State entirely. According to the Employment Report published by the department of education, in the 2017‑2018 school year, 51.8 per cent of teachers who resigned cited "leaving Hawaii" as their primary reason for resigning, while fourteen per cent resigned for a non‑teaching or non‑education related job.

The high cost of living in Hawaii coupled with a lack of affordable housing makes recruiting and retaining qualified teachers one of the most pressing matters of the State. Providing financial incentives such as affordable housing for teachers is a means for the department of education and public charter schools to recruit and retain qualified teachers by lessening the financial burden many teachers are experiencing in the State.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Authorize the Hawaii public housing authority and Hawaii housing finance and development corporation to provide affordable rental housing for teachers employed by the department of education and public charter schools;

(2) Authorize the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation to contract or sponsor with any state or county agency for the aforementioned housing;

(3) Appropriate funds for the Hawaii public housing authority;

(4) Appropriate funds out of the dwelling unit revolving fund for the development of rental housing for teachers;

(5) Require the department of education to lease land and contract with private entities for the development, management, maintenance, or revitalization of teacher housing; and

(6) Permit the private owners to lease teacher housing to other eligible tenants under certain circumstances.

PART II

SECTION 2. Section 356D-42, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The authority shall select tenants upon the basis of those in greatest need for the particular housing, subject to the following limitations and preferences:

(1) The authority may limit the tenants of any state low-income housing project to classes of persons when required by federal law or regulation as a term or condition of obtaining assistance from the federal government; provided that not less than fifty per cent of available units shall be for applicants without preference and up to fifty per cent of available units shall be for applicants with preference;

(2) Within the priorities established by the authority recognizing need, veterans with a permanent disability of ten per cent or more, as certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and their dependent parents, if any. The deceased veteran's widow or widower shall be given first preference. Parents of veterans shall not use the veteran status of their adult child as a basis for preference; [and]

(3) The authority may provide rental housing for teachers employed by the department of education and public charter schools; and

[(3)] (4) Subject to any limitations set by federal law or regulation, the authority shall not select as a tenant, and may terminate the tenancy of, any person if the person or any household member owns or acquires a home within the State."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $10,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for purposes of this Act.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the Hawaii public housing authority for the purposes of this Act.

PART III

SECTION 4. Section 201H-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (a) to read:

"(a) The corporation, in its own behalf or on behalf of any federal, state, or county agency, may:

(1) Clear, improve, and rehabilitate property;

(2) Plan, develop, construct, and finance housing projects, including mixed-use developments; and

(3) In cooperation with any state or county department or agency, including the department of education and department of accounting and general services, plan facilities and rental housing projects for teachers employed by the department of education and public charter schools and related infrastructure as an integral part of its housing projects, including mixed-use developments, using all its innovative powers toward achieving that end expeditiously and economically; provided that facilities developed in cooperation with the department of education comply with the department of education's educational objectives and requirements.

For purposes of this subsection, "mixed-use developments" means a development that contains affordable residential dwelling units that may be combined with governmental, educational, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses; is approved by the county in which the project is located; and is subject to: chapter 104; title 40 United States Code sections 3141, 3142, 3143, 3144, 3146, and 3147; or a project labor agreement by law or contract in the construction of the project."

2. By amending subsection (e) to read:

"(e) The corporation may contract or sponsor with any [county,] state or county department or agency, housing authority, or person, subject to the availability of funds, an experimental or demonstration housing project designed to meet the needs of elders; the disabled; displaced or homeless persons; low- and moderate-income persons; teachers or other government employees; or university and college students and faculty."

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $10,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 to be deposited into the dwelling unit revolving fund.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the dwelling unit revolving fund the sum of $10,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2021-2022 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the development of rental housing for teachers; provided that if the department of education does not identify and approve land for the development of rental housing for teachers by December 31, 2021, the sum appropriated may be expended for the purposes of section 201H-191, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

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

PART IV

SECTION 7. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to subpart E of part III to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   Teachers' housing; leasing and occupancy; rules. (a) The department shall lease land and contract with private entities for the development, management, maintenance, or revitalization of housing for teachers employed by the department or public charter schools as necessary to effectuate this subpart.

(b) If the occupancy of teacher housing units by teachers falls below ninety-five per cent of total units in a project, the project owner may rent the available units to eligible non-teacher tenants.

(c) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 for the purposes of this section.

(d) For the purposes of this section "project owner" means any private entity that enters into a contract to lease land for teacher housing pursuant to this section."

PART V

SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect upon its approval; provided that sections 3, 5, and 6 of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

HPHA; Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation; DOE; Public Charter Schools; Teacher Housing; Appropriations

 

Description:

Authorizes the Hawaii Public Housing Authority and Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to provide rental housing projects for teachers employed by the Department of Education and public charter schools. Appropriates funds for the Hawaii Public Housing Authority. Appropriates funds for deposit into the dwelling unit revolving fund. Requires the Department of Education to lease land and contract with private entities for the development, management, maintenance, or revitalization of teacher housing. Permits a project owner to lease teacher housing to other eligible tenants if occupancy of teacher housing falls below 95 per cent.

 

 

 

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