Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Affordable Housing Bill 59 Passes Council


Building truly affordable housing on O’ahu came closer to a reality today after the Honolulu City Council’s adoption of Bill 59, CD2, FD1— a collaborative effort between the City and community stakeholders to ease the financial burden for projects pledging to build affordable housing for local workforce families.


“Given the current low stock of affordable housing and the increasing demand going into the future, we need leadership and shared sacrifice to make the construction of affordable housing easier, not harder to do on O’ahu,” said Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, Chair of the Committee on Zoning & Housing.


“This is why the City has joined forces with affordable housing advocates, local builders, contractors, and lenders to make it easier to build affordable rental and for-sale units our local families can actually afford,” Pine added. “We have discovered that by creating a lower burden to entry, Bill 59 encourages local builders to pursue projects with deeper levels of affordability, bringing us a step closer to addressing O’ahu’s critical affordable housing shortage.”


“There’s so much we need to do to create sufficient affordable housing such as increasing subsidies for low-income development, improving infrastructure, and strengthening the capacity of non-profit developers in the state. Passage of Bill 59 for building affordable housing is one of those important steps,” said Victor Geminiani, Co-Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Appleseed.


Elliot Van Wie, Conservation Chair & Smart Growth Chair of Sierra Club of O’ahu echoed his support in submitted testimony: “We believe that this bill will play an invaluable part in obtaining the positive kind of growth we want in the future while making life just a little bit less financially burdensome for our islands’ families, moving into the future.”


This measure will go into effect upon the bill’s approval. For more information on the measure, you can read Bill 59, CD2, FD1 here.


According to Bill 59, builders who commit to building affordable rentals or for-sale units will be able to utilize fee waivers, property tax abatement and property tax exemptions. These components, which apply to all affordable units within a new development, affordable units in future IPD-T projects, as well as 201H affordable rental projects, are the result of vigorous collaboration between multiple parties.  Affordable rentals serving families as low as 60 – 80% Area Median Income (AMI), as well as affordable for-sale units serving families making 100% and below AMI and 120% and below AMI will qualify[i].


Councilmember Pine is the Chair of the Committee on Zoning and Housing, and represents residents of District One (’Ewa, ’Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Maili, Wai’anae, Makaha, Keaau, Makua).



[i] Income Levels:  60% AMI for family of four is $62,760 | `80% AMI for family of four is $83,680 | 100% AMI for family of four is $104,600 | 120% AMI for family of four is $125,520


Source: HHFDC-HUD Income Limits 2017 at