Affordable Housing and Homelessness
Homelessness has reached a near-crisis level in our islands. The homeless issue and its solutions are complex because the homeless population is diverse and each group has different needs.
Furthermore, we must recognize that many families across the state are only a few missed paychecks away from homelessness. We can do better as a modern civilized society to help the least fortunate among us so they can be guided back to economic self-sufficiency and have their dignity restored.
Ige Administration Affordable Housing Plan
- Leverage additional State funding to attract more private investment to construct more affordable housing.
- Identify and develop vacant and underutilized State lands for affordable housing near Oahu rail stations, public transportation and employment centers, and, whenever possible, include daycare, senior centers, and community facilities as part of new affordable housing sites.
- Work with the counties to expedite planning and construction approvals so that affordable rental housing can be built in a shorter time and at lower cost.
- Build more affordable housing units in Kakaako, which is fully under State control. It provides a unique opportunity to generate new affordable housing.
- Upgrade and increase public housing. Our State public housing needs to be managed and operated by qualified non-profit and private companies so tenant issues are immediately addressed, facilities are properly maintained, and units added that are targeted for low-income seniors and those with special needs.
Ige Administration Homelessness Plan
- Collaborate with and support the counties’ efforts to address homelessness. I support the Housing First initiative, which provides transitional and permanent supportive emergency housing. It also offers referral services for mental illness, addiction, job training and other social services.
- Support homeless shelters that provide immediate physical and mental health relief for homeless individuals and families. Shelters provide the first step toward permanent rental housing and job market re-entry.
- Provide our homeless military veteran population with affordable housing and support services and improve coordination with the Veterans Administration. Support the Judiciary’s Hawaii Veterans Treatment Court, which began last year, to help veterans arrested for non-violent crimes and who may be suffering from PTSD, mental health problems or substance abuse with resources and treatment needed to get healthy, employed and acclimated back into society.
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