(BIVN) – Last week, the Hawaiʻi County Council advanced a measure that will provide over $17 million dollars towards various affordable housing projects.
Bill 96 appropriates the money from the Housing Production Account to go towards these seven projects, which were identified by the Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing and Community Development through a request for proposals.
- Kamakoa Nui LP, Construction – Nā Hale Mākoa ($2 million)
- Mental Health Kokua, Property Acquisition – Manago Mauo ($5.5 million)
- Hale O Hawai‘i County, Volcano Construction – HALE ʻO Hawaiʻi County Pa Aliʻi Street ($300,000)
- Hale O Hawai‘i County, Hilo Construction – HALE ʻO Hawaiʻi County University Heights ($300,000)
- Hoʻomalu at Waikoloa LP, Construction – Hoʻomalu at Waikoloa ($3 million)
- OHCD, Infrastructure Development – Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing Mini-Loop Road and Infrastructure Development ($5.4 million)
- Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation, Construction – Hale Ola ʻO Mohouli ($824,559.46)
The bill received a positive vote by the council on first reading. Following the council meeting, the Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing and Community Development issued this news release, derailing the latest on the Affordable Housing Production Program:
Millions of dollars aimed at expanding the availability and affordability of housing on Hawaiʻi Island are one step closer to being put into action.
The Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, voted 7-0 on the first reading of Bill 96 and its accompanying resolution to authorize the Office of Housing and Community Development to award over $17.3 million via the Affordable Housing Production Program.
“The Office of Housing and Community Development has worked closely with the community to identify the priorities for Affordable Housing Production Program funding. These projects will provide affordable housing for a wide range of income levels – including those who perform services vital to our communities, such as teachers, daycare providers, mechanics, health aids, and police officers,” said Housing Administrator Susan Kunz.
The funding was made possible through Ordinance 22-77, passed by the County Council in June 2022, and signed into law by Mayor Mitch Roth. The law appropriates a minimum of $5 million per year to the Office of Housing and Community Development to facilitate programs that support, increase, and sustain the supply of affordable rental and owner-occupied housing on Hawai’i Island.
In total, 1,176 housing units in the affordable housing pipeline will be impacted by the infusion of funds.
The seven projects selected to receive funding via the Affordable Housing Production Program were among 20 proposals that requested more than $55.4 million in funding – far exceeding the available funding.
Due to the time it took to develop and approve Administrative Rules and create the electronic application for the program, the appropriations from two fiscal years were combined into one Request for Proposal. Future funding rounds will be for single fiscal year appropriations.
“We’re really excited about these funds. We had over 20 applicants and we have seven awardees, and this is just the first year of doing this,” said Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth. “We look forward to giving out more money in the next few years to make sure that our local families can stay here on Hawaiʻi Island and live an amazing life.”
According to the 2019 Hawai’i Housing Planning Study, the County of Hawai’i needed to add 10,796 affordable housing units by 2025 to meet the community’s needs.
Since taking office in late 2020, Mayor Mitch Roth’s administration through the Office of Housing and Community Development has worked closely with its partner developers to increase the number of units in the affordable housing pipeline from about 1,200 units to over 6,600 units.
The Office of Housing and Community Development anticipates the completion of 159 units in 2023 followed by an additional 217 units in 2024.
In 2024, construction is expected to commence on about 650 units that will be completed in 2025 and 2026. That’s in addition to the construction of a loop road that will open up the development of 10 parcels at Kamakoa Nui in Waikoloa Village.
The resolution and bill will undergo a second reading before County Council for approval. The Office of Housing and Community Development will then draw up contracts with the awardees for the release of funds.
Visit the Hawaiʻi County website for the Affordable Housing Production Program for more information.