Governor David Ige approved new rules today to guide future development in Kaka’ako.
The Hawai’i Community Development Authority’s 2018 Amended Housing Rules for Kaka’ako will require affordable units for sale or rent t remain affordable for at least 10 years. Governor David Ige disapproved a previous 30-year buy-back period proposed by HCDA but says the current requirement provides certainty for developers and buyers.
“Having the 10-year buy back with shared appreciation I think we know is familiar with the development community of affordable housing and it assures that every one of the units sold for 10 years will be affordable and that we will share the appreciation in the unit.”
Low-to-moderate income owners will benefit from higher sales prices and profits when they sell. The Governor also says the approved rules clarify workforce housing requirements, with qualifying applicants averaging 120 percent of the area median income or about 140-thousand dollars annually for a family of four. Senator Breene Harimoto served on the Governor’s Housing Task Force and says lawmakers appropriated 200 million dollars for the rental assistance revolving fund but the effort cannot stop there.
“We are so proud to get the additional funding from the past legislature but, you know, we gotta keep this up. One time won’t do. It must be an ongoing thing.”
HCDA Board Chair, John Whalen, says approval of the amended housing rules is a historic milestone and HCDA will leverage these rules and apply it to affordable rental housing.
“Rental housing can only be developed, really, if there are public resources to put in. Particularly, land that’s affordable or free. So, we’re looking at the shared equity revenue as a way to acquire more sites and, that, when developers do come in, we can ask them to provide land.”
The Governor says 183 million of the 200 million dollars appropriated by the legislature for the rental assistance revolving fund is already earmarked for projects to develop 1-thousand rental units. He says rental units are for residents and not for speculators or investors and that blueprint is being applied statewide.
“As part of our response to the eruption on Hawai’i Island, I talked with HFDC and see if they can identify affordable rental projects and try and fast-track those as a priority. It creates jobs during the construction but, obviously, there's huge need for displaced individuals as well. And, you know, we’re looking and doing the same thing on Kauai.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.