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Honolulu City Council looks to increase affordable housing fund

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The Honolulu City Council has passed a proposal to increase the affordable housing fund.

Resolution 21-192 proposes to amend the city charter and raise the current real property tax revenue set aside for affordable housing from 0.5% to 1%. The charter amendment will be placed in the general election ballot for the voters to ultimately decide.

The fund will be used to build houses for Hawaiʻi residents who earn 60% or less of the area median income. That equates to an individual making less than $50,760, or $72,480 for a household of four.

Rates considered affordable for these households are set at a maximum of $1,269 for a studio, and $1,632 for a two-bedroom unit.

Recent projects built with the city’s affordable housing fund include:

  • 114 tiny homes at Kahauiki Village in 2019-2020, which today provide permanent homes for more than 600 previously homeless residents, including 300 children.
  • 30 units at Kumuwai on Young Street, a previously empty office building purchased in 2019 and repurposed into permanent housing for homeless seniors.
  • A derelict property on Ala Wai Blvd. is currently being condemned with the goal of partnering with a nonprofit affordable housing developer to convert it to permanent housing.
Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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