|Council member Michelle Galimba|
said she is concerned about impediments
to building affordable housing.
Galimba said that it is her perception that "many of my friends in the environmental community would find the argument that this bill increases uncertainty for developers to be a feature and not a bug of this bill and perhaps support this bill because it will slow development on this island. I feel that this is a mistaken position as creating this kind of uncertainty in the development community will disproportionately impact affordable housing developers who are already working under incredibly difficult conditions in our market, with skyrocketing prices of materials, insurance and land.
|Mayor Mitch Roth said he wants|
to avoid making affordable housing
Galimba suggested the Council could ask for quarterly or annual reports of project deadlines so that the Council and public can stay informed and engaged with project deadlines.
|Susan Kunz, County of Hawai'i|
Landlords who partner with the Office may be eligible to receive a one-time $3,000 incentive payment when renting with a one-year lease. Property owners with multiple open units could receive $3,000 per unit. By offering the $3,000 sign-on bonus, the Office hopes to increase the number of Landlords on Hawaiʻi Island participating in the program to provide more housing opportunities for participants holding vouchers.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s most recent The Gap report issued in March 2023, Hawaiʻi in 2021 had just 89 affordable and available homes per 100 renter households earning at or below 100% Area Median Income (AMI). For low-income renter households, those earning at or below 80% AMI, there were just 74 units per 100 households. The figure drops to 34 units per 100 households at or below 30% AMI.
“Sustainability is about making sure that our local families can thrive here for generations, which, in turn, means having a place to live and call home,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “There are a lot of great families out there who just need to be given a chance, and that’s what this incentive program is all about – a chance for hard-working local people to find a good, stable home."
“Many Hawaiʻi Island renters are struggling to find a place, and our housing voucher program participants are no different,” said Existing Housing Division Manager Michael Yee. “This incentive program will bring more of our housing stock into the reach of voucher holders because, as we all know, stable, affordable housing is critical to a person’s health, dignity, safety, inclusion, and overall contribution to their community.”
The Landlord Incentive Program will end upon the depletion of available federal funding. Full program details can be found at www.hawaiicounty.gov/landlords.
Interested Landlords are also encouraged to sign-up for the Office’s next New Landlord Orientation set for 9 a.m. May 24 in Hilo.
For more information, visit hawaiicounty.gov/landlords, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Existing Housing Division at (808) 959-4642, ext. 1904.
The Hawai’i County Office of Housing and Community Development is responsible for the planning, administration, and operation of all County of Hawai’i housing programs. Its Mission is to provide for the development of viable communities through decent housing, suitable living environments and expanded economic opportunities.
THE COUNTY EPIC SYSTEM FOR BUILDING AND OTHER PERMITS will be offline to the public from Friday, April 28 at 1 a.m. through Monday, May 1 at 8 a.m. Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works Building Division made the announcement Wednesday that the Electronic Permitting & Information system will undergo an annual update, routine maintenance, and functional upgrades intended to improve workflow processes and access to historical permit records. While this work is being performed, the EPIC system will not accept new applications, plans, document uploads, or payments.
The Public Works statement thanks the community for patience and understanding in advance.
In order to see where employers are struggling the most in hiring, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the rate of job openings for both the latest month and the last 12 months. The Hawai'i job openings rate during the latest month was 5.50%. Its job openings rate in the past 12 months was 6.47%. To view the full report and details on Hawai'i and other states with challenges in finding workers, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/states-employers-hiring/101730.
The closure over Tuesday night was at Kawā Flats, from mile markers 57 near Ninoole Loop to milemarker 63 toward Nā'ālehu. Kalaiki Rd, the old sugar cane haul road through the mountains between Nā'ālehu and Pāhala, was also closed due to flooding. Gulches in Wood Valley were also reported as flooded, with some floodwaters blocking travel. Civil Defense sent out numerous warnings.