Ige signs $570M bill for affordable housing

Lawmakers attending the bill-signing ceremony for an affordable rental housing program Friday include House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti (front row, from left), Kauai Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura (second from left), House Housing Committee Chair Tom Brower, and Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole (back row, wearing lei), with Gov. David Ige.

"A step forward in addressing Hawaii’s affordable rental housing crisis on all islands was taken by the Legislature this session with the passage of House Bill 2748 HD2 SD2 CD1 and Friday, that bill was signed into law by Gov. David Ige.

The bill provides a total of $570 million which will generate more than 25,000 affordable units by the year 2030. This will fulfill the goal of 22,500 affordable rental housing units set by the Legislature in 2016 via Act 127, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016.

'I want to thank everyone involved for having the courage to take this historic action to provide affordable housing so desperately needed in Hawaii,' said House Housing Chair Rep. Tom Brower. 'This is an investment in the future that will allow our working families a chance to save money to buy a home of their own and will contribute to lawmakers’ efforts to end homelessness.'

The measure supports development of affordable rental housing for a wide range of households spanning low income families to those making up to 140 percent of the area median income. House Bill 2748 HD2 SD2 CD1 contains four parts:

Appropriates $200 million into the Rental Housing Trust Fund to generate about 1,600 affordable rental housing units for families at or below 80 percent AMI.

Expands the general excise tax exemption for construction of about 24,000 affordable rental units for families at or below 140 percent AMI.

Appropriates $10 million into the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund

Appropriates $50,000 to prepare an assessment of housing needs for persons with low or no income, such as the disabled and functionally challenged populations."

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