Too many of our children and families are moving away because they can’t afford to own, or even rent, their own homes. Even more concerning is that one of the significant drivers of homelessness in our community is the lack of access to affordable housing.

This is a serious problem which is why so many are concerned about the city’s lack of an affordable housing plan. The City’s administration’s failure to properly manage affordable housing in our community is utterly tragic and is one of the reasons I’m running for Mayor. If elected, one of the first things we will tackle is creating a clear direction and commitment to providing affordable housing.

The Plan

First, I’m committed to completing an affordable housing plan for our City so we have a clear direction and commitment to providing affordable housing.  Second, we need to eliminate the waste and mismanagement in our affordable housing program so that federal funds are used appropriately. And, third, we need to look for creative options to incentivize development of affordable housing.

I have been working with affordable housing experts, including Peter Savio, to craft policies to actually create affordable housing. An example is “equity build” rental units, which will provide families a path to home ownership by offering them a chance to save their own down payment.  Tenants will pay rent, and as they do, the equity the unit gains will go into an escrow account for the tenant instead of to the landlord for profit.  This type of City project would create value for tenants; giving tenants the value of the appreciation, amortization, and tax benefits of ownership.

Charles at a press conference with housing expert Peter Savio discussing the critical need to fix the City’s sloppy handling of affordable housing and need to address housing for our community.

Affordable Housing under Kirk Caldwell

Honolulu’s affordable housing crisis has gotten worse — here are some recent articles detailing the current mismanagement under Kirk Caldwell: