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Legislature ain't over till it's over, so there's still hope for housing bill
By Grassroot Institute @ 12:07 AM :: 1209 Views :: Development

Legislature ain't over till it's over, so there's still hope for housing bill

from Grassroot Institute

Grassroot staffer Ted Kefalas writes in Hawaii Filipino Chronicle that up-zoning is the only practical option to gain more housing

The fate of a bill at the Legislature that could stem the exodus of Hawaii residents seeking less expensive housing, SB3202, is up in the air, but the arguments in its favor are still as valid as when Grassroot Director of Strategic Campaigns Ted Kefalas wrote about it in the most recent Hawaii Filipino Chronicle.

In his commentary, "State Lawmakers Have Best Chance In A While To Move Needle In Solving Hawaii Housing Crisis," Kefalas wrote that "the premise of the bill is the sad fact that land costs are the largest component of home prices in Hawaii, so an easy way to lower housing costs in the islands is to add flexibility to county zoning codes that require every home to be on at least 5,000 square feet of land. In other words, allow less land per house."

He said the political quandary is that building "outward" into Hawaii’s agricultural lands is often not possible, which leaves building more on the lands already designated for housing as the only alternative. He said the advantage of this option — often called "upzoning" — is that much of the needed infrastructure for new housing already exists.

Kefalas lamented that the bill was amended earlier this month to remove several of its most important provisions. But, he said, "to borrow a phrase from the famous baseball star Yogi Berra, the legislative session ain’t over till it’s over. So maybe we’ll get something we can all be happy with after all."

If you would like to communicate your support for the bill to your House and Senate representatives, go to Grassroot's "action" page by clicking on the button below.


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