STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3455
RE: H.B. No. 2345
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2022
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Housing and Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 2345, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAND,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Authorize the acquisition of real property located in Ewa Beach on the island of Oahu; and
(2) Appropriate funds to the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to purchase the fee simple interest or acquire an interest in the real property located in Ewa Beach on the island of Oahu to develop affordable housing, with priority given to Department of Education classroom teachers in the beginning of their careers.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education, Hawaii State Teachers Association, and one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, Department of Budget and Finance, and Hawaii Government Employees Association.
Your Committees find that housing affordably is a barrier to teacher recruitment and retention. Policies that increase the availability of affordable housing and grant priority to Department of Education teachers will serve the State's interest in providing more affordable housing and recruiting additional teachers. This measure authorizes and appropriates funds for the acquisition of real property in Ewa Beach for the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to develop affordable housing for Department of Education teachers.
Your Committees further find, however, that there are numerous concerns about the development of the Ewa Beach property and the prioritization of affordable housing for classroom teachers at the beginning of their careers. Notably, testimony submitted by the Hawaii State Teachers Association requested that the affordable housing development be made available to teachers of all seniority levels and not only to those beginning their careers. Additionally, testimony submitted by the Hawaii Government Employees Association expressed that other government employees who work alongside teachers should also be provided affordable workforce housing, regardless of which agency they work for or their years of service.
Members of your Committees also note concerns that existing infrastructure and elementary school capacity near the Ewa Beach property are already insufficient to meet the needs of the surrounding community. The development of additional affordable housing without a corresponding investment in nearby infrastructure will further undermine quality of life of those already living in the area. Finally, your Committees note that determinations regarding reductions and waivers of impact fees will be made by the Department of Education.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring the Department of Education to conduct an elementary school needs assessment before any development on the Ewa Beach property;
(2) Inserting an appropriation in an unspecified amount for the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to obtain a fair market appraisal report for the Ewa Beach property;
(3) Inserting an appropriation in an unspecified amount for the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation to maintain landscaping and public safety on the Ewa Beach property until a developer is selected; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Housing and Education that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2345, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2345, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Housing and Education,
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair
STANLEY CHANG, Chair