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Saturday, November 5, 2016
Djou: I will Build 10,000 Affordable Units on Oahu
By Rep Charles Djou @ 3:01 AM :: 7024 Views :: Honolulu County, Homelessness, Cost of Living

Djou's Action Plan Relieves Homelessness

Through Immediate Affordable Housing Solution

News Release from

(November 4, 2016, Honolulu, Hawaii) – This afternoon, mayoral candidate Charles Djou held a press conference at Mayor Wright Housing in Kalihi to share his plan to immediately address Honolulu’s need for affordable housing, which aims to directly address the city’s homeless epidemic. He was joined by local developer Peter Savio, who has built thousands of affordable housing units in Hawaii.

The median price of Honolulu homes, up to $750,000, continues to rise without a matching increase in household incomes. Djou’s action plan lays out housing initiatives to help homeless, families, retirees, students and new graduates and includes building 10,000 “truly affordable homes” by 2020 through partnerships with the state and city council.

Read plan below.

To Fight Homelessness, Djou Promises:

“I will build 10,000 ‘rent-to-equity,’ truly affordable homes on Oahu.” Partnering with the State and City Council, we can do this by 2020. Measure my progress year by year, and publish the results. The people of Honolulu can hold me accountable.

We as a community must attack the homeless crisis together. It starts with basic housing for all.

I will work with the State to create 10,000 homes in “rent-to-equity" projects on state land (such as here at Mayor Wright), including 1,000 “Ready2Rent” units for those that are currently homeless. The “rent-to-equity” units will take families to home ownership by helping them save for down payments. Once down payments move households into their own homes, new formerly homeless and other “rent-to-equity” tenants will take their place.

Very affordable housing addresses our homeless problem. I agree with the Star-Advertiser that “Getting people off the street, and keeping more people from falling into homelessness by addressing the need for low-income housing, is the only cure.” We will vastly expand units under Caldwell’s botched ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) program. Also, we will support Jimmy Carter’s “Habitat for Humanity,” helping people build their own houses with “sweat equity.” We will do this and more to build the 10,000 truly affordable homes our island needs.

Honolulu builds too much luxury housing. As mayor I will deliver housing our people can afford, homes for those afraid of losing what they have, for those losing children to the mainland. “Rentals that Rock!” help students and new graduates live, study, work and play in small, modern, minimalist designed units with community kitchens, laundry, shared meeting, studying and work areas.

Caldwell’s “Affordable Housing Strategy” hasn’t moved in two years and remains in draft and adrift. Meanwhile, the homeless numbers have increased by 13% during Caldwell’s watch, with unsheltered up as those in shelters have decreased.

And the Honolulu median priced home is up to $750,000. A family of four now must earn $130,000 a year (10% down, interest rate: 4%) to buy a median-priced house, but in 2013, 86% of Honolulu income tax filers earned less than $100,000 a year.

Besides the homeless, retirees and families struggling to make life work here also need affordable “gap group” housing. Let’s levy TOD (Transit Oriented Development) impact fees on developments near rail. That could raise an estimated $2.5 billion for both affordable housing and rail. Rezoning land near transit stations benefits developers, who should pay their fair share.

My pledge: significantly reduce homelessness; build 10,000 truly affordable homes.

Charles Djou is running for Mayor of Honolulu. He represented Hawaii's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House and previously served on the Honolulu City Council and Hawaii State House.  Djou is an Army Reservist and Afghanistan war veteran.  He is married to Stacey Kawasaki Djou and together they have three children.

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