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Saturday, February 24, 2024
Green Kills off 'Affordable' Housing Group, Hands Authority to HHFDC
By News Release @ 3:42 AM :: 1540 Views :: Development, Land Use, Cost of Living

GOVERNOR GREEN EXTENDS EMERGENCY HOUSING PROCLAMATION
Amendments Reflect Current Needs

News Release, February 23, 2024

HONOLULU  ̶  Governor Josh Green, M.D., has signed the fifth Emergency Proclamation (EP) relating to Affordable Housing.

The latest EP waives a number of state and county fees that add millions of dollars in costs, while also requiring developers to build hundreds of additional affordable housing units to qualify for the exemptions under the EP by expanding the definition of affordable.

Developers must now produce 60% of their units at 140% of the area median income (AMI) or less – instead of the previous 50%-plus requirement.

The latest EP keeps many of these fee waivers in place for the interim. The proclamation exempts affordable housing developers from paying state school impact fees and general excise taxes, as well as county park dedication and wastewater fees, subject to the approval of the county. These exemptions help offset rising interest rates and increasing building costs due to inflation and supply chain disruptions.

The EP also concludes the Build Beyond Barriers Working Group and assigns the BBB’s duties to the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), which will review developer applications for eligibility and process fee waiver exemptions.

“I want to thank everyone who participated in the BBB and helped us identify the many challenges and barriers to building affordable homes in Hawai‘i,” said Governor Green. “It is now appropriate to integrate its functions into the operations of HHFDC, which is uniquely positioned to execute the EP.”

One measure of the working group’s impact is that lawmakers have proposed about 20 bills this legislative session, seeking to codify solutions to housing challenges identified by and aligned with the group and the Emergency Proclamation.

Proposals include bills to make it easier for office building owners to convert their commercially zoned properties for residential uses. Others permanently repeal school impact fees for affordable housing projects and exempt the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands projects from paying general excise and use taxes on their projects.

The effective dates of the Fifth Emergency Proclamation Relating to Affordable Housing are from Feb. 20 through April 20, 2024. A copy of the executed EP is attached.

PDF: FIFTH PROCLAMATION RELATING TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

HNN: Governor disbands controversial affordable housing working group that he formed  

SA: Gov. Green kills controversial Hawaii housing group

KITV: Gov. Green extends emergency proclamation into April 2024

As Explained: July, 2023: Housing Emergency Designed to Fail

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