Housing developers told legislators yesterday that it takes too long to get government approvals and urged them to streamline the land-use process, in part by reducing the role of the state Land Use Commission.
The lack of affordable housing is “a supply-and-demand issue,” said Carleton Ching, director of community and governmental relations for Castle & Cooke Homes.
The housing supply cannot meet the demand when applications for such projects are tied up in the lengthy permit process, he said.
Ching was one of a number of developers who appeared before the Senate’s task force on affordable housing yesterday.
Streamlining the land-use process was among the suggestions made in a report issued Monday by a government and private industry task force coordinated by the Housing and Community Development Corp. of Hawai`i.
It often takes four years to obtain approvals from the Land Use Commission and another two more years to get county permits, Ching said, “and then you go get the (building) permits after that."
Asked by one senator how long it should take to approve a housing development, Ching deadpanned, “Just sign a document and tell us go,” drawing laughter from yesterday’s participants.