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New Law Provides Additional Funding for Affordable Rental Housing

July 3, 2019, 9:13 AM HST (Updated July 3, 2019, 9:13 AM)
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Providing affordable rental housing has been a top priority for Hawaiʻi lawmakers and with the signing of House Bill 1312 by Gov. David Ige on July 2, 2019, the state has move a step closer to that goal. PC: Office of the governor

Providing affordable rental housing has been a top priority for Hawaiʻi lawmakers and with the signing of House Bill 1312 by Gov. David Ige on July 2, 2019, the state has move a step closer to that goal.

HB1312 HD1 SD1 CD1 authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates $50 million each in 2019 and 2020 into the Rental Housing Revolving Fund. This is in addition to the $35  to $38 million from the conveyance tax that is placed annually into the RHRF, bringing the total appropriation to about $170 million for two fiscal years.

“By passing and signing this bill, the Legislature and the governor continue their resolve to address Hawaiʻi’s affordable rental housing crisis for the whole spectrum of local households,” said House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakōlea, McCully, Pāwa‘a, Mānoa).

“We now look forward to working with the state housing agencies and developers to get projects moving through the pipeline and built for our residents.”

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In 2018 the Legislature passed an historic and comprehensive housing measure to create more affordable housing by putting $200 million into the Rental Housing Revolving Fund(RHRF). This year HB1312 builds on that commitment and coupled with prior legislative funding initiatives, more than $350 million will have gone into the RHRF from fiscal year 2016-17 through 2020-21.

“According to the Hawaii Housing and Finance Development Corporation (HHFDC) the more funding that is made available emboldens developers to be more aggressive with the scope of their projects, and the confidence to move forward on such plans,” Rep. Belatti said.

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