(BIVN) – Just a few days after he dramatically signed an emergency proclamation on homelessness from the podium during his State of the State Address, Governor Josh Green is making changes.
The Governor’s amendments follow concerns that his proclamation would suspend environmental protections or safeguards preserving public trust lands.
From the Office of the Governor:
on January 26, 2023
Governor Josh Green, M.D. has amended the Emergency Proclamation on Homelessness signed earlier this week.
The proclamation allows for exemptions from certain processes that typically delay projects in order to expedite construction of low-impact kauhale, or tiny home communities. “We amended our homelessness emergency proclamation to reflect guardrails that will ensure we don’t have to choose between our kuleana to culture and land, and our responsibility to the people who are most vulnerable in our communities,” Gov. Green said.
“My intention in signing the emergency proclamation was always to protect sacred sites, iwi kūpuna and the environment – while building kauhale and working towards aggressively ending chronic homelessness and unsheltered suffering statewide,” said. Gov. Green. “To do this, we must take bold but thoughtful action.”
Signed during his State of the State Address Monday, the initial emergency proclamation contains the same language as previous proclamations in effect from 2015 to 2020, that allowed for expedited construction of kauhale – including Pu‘uhonua o Wai‘anae – a project that was 100-percent community-driven.
Past proclamations had no rules or processes guiding how projects would qualify, or how basic considerations of life-safety, the environment, culture, or other considerations would be addressed. “The Governor has amended the proclamation to make it clear that this process is required, and his Administration is crafting rules to outline how that process will work,” said James Koshiba, the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. “The proclamation does not signal a free-for-all, for developers,” Koshiba said. “Construction projects designed to serve and house the houseless are deeply unprofitable and are unattractive tofor-profit developers.”
Fewer than one dozen projects were built during the 2015 to 2020 Emergency Proclamation period, largely led by County or State governments, using public funding. In only a few instances did private nonprofit developers attempt to build, because the process is costly and difficult, even with the exemptions.
The amended emergency proclamation expires March 20, 2023, the same end date as the original document signed earlier this week.