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$10M Earmark Secured for Affordable Housing, Homeless Shelters on Big Island

March 11, 2022, 9:37 AM HST
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Hawaiʻi County is set to receive $10 million to go toward building affordable housing and emergency shelter units for people experiencing homelessness.

An oversight hearing to examine the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act’s promise after 30 years. (Official U.S. Senate photo by Rosa Pineda)

On Thursday, March 10, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz secured more than $240 million in congressionally directed spending, also known as earmarks, in this year’s appropriations bill, which includes funding for housing on Hawaiʻi Island.

“This new earmark funding will help build new shelters and affordable permanent housing for people in need. It will also provide them with services and other resources to help them get back on their feet,” said Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Development.

County Mayor Mitch Roth expressed his gratitude to Schatz and his efforts to secure the earmark for Kūkuiola.

“Our administration remains committed to providing vital services and temporary housing to our vulnerable, houseless populations, and with the support of our congressional delegation, our services on the Westside of Hawai‘i Island will be significantly uplifted,” Roth said.

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In addition to the 16 emergency shelter units and the 48 permanent housing units, this funding will also be used to construct community showers, a community kitchen, and other service facilities. The new congressionally directed funding in this year’s appropriations bill marks the first year members of Congress were able to make earmark requests since they were banned in 2011.

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The bill passed the Senate last night and now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

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