Advocacy Updates

Affordable Walk-Up Rental Bill Heard by City Council

On March 28, the City Council Committee on Zoning and Housing chaired by Kymberly Pine heard a number of bills in an attempt to address Oahu’s affordable housing shortage. Bill 6 is a bill to encourage development of affordable walk-up rental properties for low wage earners and reduce proliferation of excessively large single-family homes. 

The bill attempts to “deregulate” these obstacles for small landowners and develop a building code that treats small, medium and large sized buildings differently – similar to Japan. The objective is to increase housing inventory to 500 new rental apartments per year, or 10 to 15 new buildings.

Recent studies for Honolulu’s housing shortage crisis indicate that this type of housing - in the $1000 to $2000 per month rent range - is in the greatest demand because 60% of Honolulu’s workforce has wages that can afford this rent. This type of new housing development has not been developed due to a number of barriers including zoning regulations, high construction costs, and high land development costs.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on February 20, 2019, on the proposed bill and approved two motions: a unanimous vote to approve the City Council-initiated Resolution 18-78, CD1, as well as unanimous approval of the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) proposed Omnibus Bill.

Learn more about Bill 6 and feedback from the DPP and the public including developers.

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