State Lawmaker Remains Committed to Singapore-Style Public Housing in Hawaii

Jun 27, 2019

Public housing in Singapore is administered by the Housing Development Board. More than 80% of the island's residents live in an HBD flat.
Credit Pixabay

Following a recent trip to Singapore, State Senator Stanley Chang remains committed to adapting the island nation’s public housing model for Hawaii.

Following a recent trip to Singapore, State Senator Stanley Chang remains committed to adapting the island nation’s public housing model for Hawaii.

Chang put forth his original proposal, called Affordable Locally Owned Homes for All or ALOHA Homes, during the 2019 state legislative session.

The idea, which would use state land along the planned Honolulu rail transit line, aims to build low-cost, high density, residential developments. Chang garnered inspiration from a public housing program developed in Singapore, where more than 80 percent of the island’s residents live in public housing.

Those units are built by private developers and sold at below market rates using a government subsidy.

Senator Chang’s proposal would not include a public subsidy, but state-owned land would be provided cost-free. His goal is to bring units to market at a median price of $300,000.

The ALOHA Homes proposal did not receive legislative approval in 2019, but lawmakers did approve $200,000 to further study the idea. Chang plans to re-introduce the bill in the 2020 legislative session.