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Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Gov Lingle vetoes bills that would inhibit affordable housing
By News Release @ 11:40 AM :: 5235 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle vetoed three bills today that would have negatively affected Hawai‘i’s low-income and affordable housing supplies.  The Governor issued her vetoes to highlight the importance of housing needs during one of the state's most economically challenging times.

“Affordable housing options are scarce in Hawai‘i,” Governor Lingle stated.  “We should be passing laws that increase affordable housing options for Hawai‘i’s families, not limit them.”

The first bill would adversely impact affordable housing options by creating a new reserved housing mandate for developers of commercial and residential property in Kaka‘ako that is unrealistic and unworkable.  Rather than encourage affordable housing development, this bill will have the opposite effect of inhibiting growth in Kaka‘ako.

The other two bills make untimely changes in the provision of state public housing by the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority.  The bills would increase the cost of living for public housing residents and force a group of tenants out of public housing.

Specifically, the three bills are:

  • SB 1350 SD2 HD1 CD1 would adversely impact affordable housing options by creating a new unrealistic housing mandate for developers of commercial and residential property in Kaka‘ako and place a temporary moratorium on building permits at a time when construction should be encouraged and facilitated.
  • HB 1692 HD2 SD2 CD1 would require the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority to conduct a pilot project that would restrict tenant occupancy, but fails to address the underlying causes, such as the availability of affordable rental housing.
  • SB 1160 SD2 HD2 CD1 contains conflicting provisions regarding the eviction of tenants from public housing and the ability to sell, exchange, transfer or assign public housing land.

“Many of our public housing residents simply cannot afford homeownership or are priced out of the rental market,” the Governor said.  “Now is not the time to increase public housing fees or tinker with pilot projects that may have the unintended consequence of forcing low-income individuals into homelessness.”
On June 30, 2009 Governor Lingle issued a list of 65 bills passed during the 2009 Legislative session that she is reviewing for potential veto action.  These three measures were on that list.

The Governor also has vetoed 10 bills that would further increase the State’s budget shortfall, three bills that are pre-empted by federal law or violate existing federal statutes, and an online tax bill that would put Hawai‘i businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

The Governor has until July 15, 2009 to determine if she will veto the remaining measures.

The Governor’s statements of objections regarding today’s three vetoed bills are attached and also can be found on the Governor’s website at:  www.hawaii.gov/gov/initiatives/veto

The full potential veto list is also posted on the Governor’s website. 

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