Legislative Action

As part of our mission, LEJ brings testimony to the legislature regarding bills that affect the lives of Hawai`i's low-income individuals, families, and communities. Click here to see all of our 2013 legislative priorities.

Housing and Homelessness Initiatives

Senate Bill 515 provided funding for a variety of important programs. Funding was dedicated to Housing First for chronically homeless individuals, shallow rental subsidies for homeless families to move into permanent housing, other mental health care and supportive programs, a pilot “return to home” program for homeless individuals seeking to live closer to their support system, and a working group to develop community-driven solutions to housing those experiencing homelessness.

House Bill 530 establishes November as Homelessness Awareness Month.

Other affordable housing bills introduced in the 2013 Legislature including obtaining rental assistance for working homeless families, increasing funding for the Rental Housing Trust Fund, expanding shallow rental subsidies to prevent homelessness, creating pilot projects for housing homeless individuals, and relaxing building codes to encourage the creation of more affordable housing.

conveyance tax

The conveyance tax is levied on transfers of real property in the state. Currently, 30 percent of revenues go to the Rental Housing Trust Fund, a key source of financing for affordable housing, with another 35 percent going to land and environmental preservation initiatives. Bills related to increasing conveyance tax rates on properties over $2 million and increasing the percentage allocated to affordable housing and the environment did not go to conference this year. Another bill, HB 680, would close the “Lanai loophole.” Currently, transfers of real property that occur when controlling interest in a business is transferred are not subject to the conveyance tax like other property sales are. This bill died in conference.

2013 testimony

Below is a list of housing related bills on which we submitted testimony in 2013. To see all of our testimony and bills we supported inthe 2013 legislative session, please click here.

SB91, Appropriates funds for the state rent supplement program, for homeless working individuals or families who are ready to rent permanent housing in order to obtain and maintain permanent housing. Our testimony

SB92, Appropriates funds to the department of human services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless individuals in the State. Our testimony

SB302, Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds for deposit into the rental housing trust fund to finance affordable rental housing development. Our testimony

SB303, Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds into the rental assistance revolving fund for purposes of expanding the rental assistance program. Our testimony

SB515, appropriates funds to the Department of Human Services, rental housing trust fund, the department of health, Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Shelter Plus Care Program for housing and supportive services for homeless individuals and families. Establishes the Return-to-Home program and special fund. Establishes nighttime parking lots for homeless persons. Establishes camping locations for homeless persons. Our testimony

HB518, Appropriates funds for the state rent supplement program, for homeless working individuals or families who are ready to rent permanent housing in order to obtain and maintain permanent housing. Our testimony.

HB519, Appropriates funds to the department of human services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless individuals in the State. Our testimony

HB530, Designates November as homelessness awareness month. Our testimony