February 2007 Home   Newsletters

March 2007

April 2007

Council Vote on Salt Lake Route (Pearl Johnson)
Annual Meeting at Hale Koa Hotel on April 14
Nominating Committee Report (Lisa Keala Carter)
Affordable Housing (Jackie Parnell)
Biodiesel Crops in Hawaii
Transcript of Bush Press Conference 8/21/06
New Layout
Projected Budget FY 2007-2008 (Roxie Berlin)

Affordable Housing

At last there is a bit of good news on the affordable housing front. For one, the Governor and the Legislature continue to take the issue seriously this session. There are both administration and House bills in the hopper that would provide substantial increases in funds.

Even better, the administration is finally set up to spend new money effectively. We are impressed with the activity of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. HHFDC was created in 1987 to produce affordable housing. In 1998 it was consolidated with Hawaii Housing Authority into one agency, the Housing and Community Development Corporation.

For one reason or another, having one agency both manage public housing and create new housing didn't work out and it didn't do either one very well. So last year the two agencies were divorced and are now independent again.

The Housing Authority is still plagued with problems -can you imagine 700 vacant units when demand for low-income housing is so high? -but HHFDC is sailing along. Under the direction of its new director, "Dan" Davidson, nearly 5,000 homes for rent or sale to low- and moderate-income residents are in the pipeline to be built over the next five years.

HHFDC produces affordable housing in conjunction with private developers using two main tools, land and financing. The State provides the land and solicits proposals from developers using public financing, tax credits and below-market loans. One indication of the agency's new energy and drive is that it plans to use ALL the money in the Rental Housing Tax Fund ($22 million) and has applications for an additional $39 million. In previous years appropriated moneys lapsed because the old agency couldn't spend it!

For more information on HHFDC and a list of the planned housing developments, see "Back on the Map" by Andrew Gomes in the Honolulu Advertiser for Sunday, February 25. You can also check their web site:

www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/hhfdc

Jackie Parnell
Chair, Affordable Shelter Committee

February 2007 Home   Newsletters April 2007