Counties should have same housing power as HFDC

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the House Committee on Finance on Feb. 26, 2024.

Feb 26, 2024, 12:30 p.m.
Hawaii State Capitol
Conference Room 308 and Videoconference

To: House Committee on Finance
      Rep. Kyle T. Yamashita, Chair
      Rep. Lisa Kitagawa, Vice-Chair

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
           Ted Kefalas, Director of Strategic Campaigns


Comments only

Aloha Chair Yamashita, Vice-Chair Kitagawa and members of the Committee,

Thank you for considering HB1808, which would allow the counties to finance, develop and construct mixed-use and mixed-income housing projects just as the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. is allowed to do.

Giving the counties flexibility to finance these types of developments could increase the housing stock and business opportunities in urban areas and areas near public transit.

In a recent report, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii discussed how mixed-use buildings also boost neighborhood walkability, which “yield positive health outcomes. People lose weight, cardiovascular disease declines and people report being happier.”[1]

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Ted Kefalas, Director of strategic campaigns
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

[1] Jonathan Helton, “How to facilitate more homebuilding in Hawaii,” Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, December 2023, pp. 15-16.

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