Upcoming: City’s Affordable Housing Requirements & Incentives

Did you know?

  • Oahu is experiencing a housing crisis, and needs to build more than 24,000 housing units to address demand.
  • Over three quarters of the demand is for households earning less than 80% of area median income (AMI), or $80,450 for a family of four.

 

The Council and the Committee on Zoning and Housing are currently working with community stakeholders to refine the city’s Affordable Housing Strategy. We need a strategy that addresses these needs with new and revised policies, incentives, regulations, and investments, in partnership with developers, builders, and other stakeholders.We need to focus on projects, partnerships, funding, and use of City lands to accelerate affordable housing production.  Ongoing infrastructure investment in transit-oriented development (TOD) areas is critical to support affordable housing on city and state lands. Updating the City’s Housing Strategy could add around 800 affordable units/year, once construction of planned projects is completed.

To achieve these results, the Council in the past two years, developed and approved an accessory dwelling unit program, and is currently reviewing two new initiatives proposed:

  1. The Affordable Housing Requirement (AHR) (Bill 58)
    1. This “inclusionary” housing requirement will apply to all development over 10 units. Current regulations, applied to rezoning, require only ten years of affordability. The new policy requires fewer units, but at lower income levels, and for three times longer. Since the TOD area includes new mixed-use zoning and potential height and density bonus, it is higher than the islandwide requirement.
  2. The Affordable Housing Incentives (Bill 59)
    1. For all qualified affordable housing units produced, the City will eliminate sewer hook-up fees, park dedication fees, and DPP building permit and plan review fees. Real property taxes will be waived for rental projects for as long as the units remain affordable. Property tax increases during construction will also be waived for all units for projects that include required affordable units. We are considering a development industry proposal to provide fee and property tax waivers for all units in rental projects where most units are at 140% AMI, with a portion at 80% AMI.