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Leasehold Housing Bill Comes Back from the Dead


A legislative proposal to build affordable apartment housing on state-owned land has come back from the dead. The bill appeared to have failed back in March, but was resurrected in the closing days of the legislative session.

Update, 2:30pm, April 25th: The joint committee considering HB 820 has delayed a decision until Friday, April 25th at 1:30 pm.

The idea is called Affordable Locally Owned Homes for All, or ALOHA HOMES. It was proposed by State Senator Stanley Chang in the beginning of the legislative session, but failed to get the necessary hearings.

The language from the original bill has now been attached to another measure that deals with county zoning issues, a technique commonly known as gut and replace.

ALOHA Homes is based on a public housing program developed in Singapore. It aims to build high density condo units along the Honolulu rail line which would be sold on 99-year leases.

The goal is to bring the apartments to market for around 300,000 dollars each. Only Hawaii residents who own no other real property would be eligible.

Senators and Representatives will meet again today to further discuss the proposal.

This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.

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