Bill Text: HI SB635 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Proposing Amendments To Article Ix, Section 5, Of The Constitution Of The State Of Hawaii.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-14 - Report adopted; Passed Second Reading, as amended (SD 1) and referred to WAM. [SB635 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SB635-Amended.html

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

635

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE IX, SECTION 5, OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF HAWAII.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the cost and availability of housing in the State are significant challenges facing Hawaii residents.  Although Hawaii has the tenth highest median wage nationally, living expenses are two-thirds higher than the rest of the nation, with the cost of housing being a major contributing factor.  In September 2018, the median price for a single-family home on Oahu rose to $812,500, while the median price for condominiums on Oahu rose to $428,000.  According to a local news report, a household would need to earn almost $160,000 annually to afford to buy a home on Oahu, making homeownership out of reach for many of Hawaii's residents, especially first-time buyers.

     Because of the many barriers hindering the production of new housing, such as geographic limitations, lack of major infrastructure, and construction costs, the State and housing developers have not produced enough housing for Hawaii residents.  According to a 2015 report from the department of business, economic development, and tourism, the projected long-run estimate of demand for total new housing in Hawaii is between 64,700 to 66,000 for the 2015 to 2025 period.  The legislature has responded through the passage of various legislation.  During the regular session of 2016, the legislature passed a bill enacted as Act 127, Session Laws of Hawaii 2016, that, among other things, establishes a goal of developing or vesting the development of at least 22,500 affordable rental housing units ready for occupancy by the end of 2026.  During the regular session of 2017, the legislature passed a bill enacted as Act 54, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, to expand the types of rental housing projects that can be exempt from general excise tax, thereby encouraging the development of rental housing projects targeted for occupancy by households at or below the one hundred forty per cent and eighty per cent area median income levels.  During the regular session of 2018, the legislature passed a bill enacted as Act 39, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, that, among other things, provides an estimated total value of $570,000,000 to address Hawaii's affordable rental housing crisis and is expected to generate more than 25,000 affordable units by the year 2030.

     Despite these efforts, the amount of new construction of housing, especially for low- to middle-income families, continues to be inadequate as the supply of housing remains constrained while demand for housing increases.  This lack of supply leads to higher housing prices and rents for households of all income levels, leaving all tenants with less disposable income, increasing the personal stress on buyers and renters, and exacerbating overcrowding and homelessness.  Given these consequences, the lack of affordable housing requires the concentrated attention of state government at the highest level.

     The purpose of this Act is to propose an amendment to article IX, section 5, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii to require the legislature to consider the effect of its actions on the price of housing in the State.

     SECTION 2.  Article IX, section 5, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii is amended to read as follows:

"HOUSING, [SLUM CLEARANCE,] DEVELOPMENT

AND REHABILITATION

     Section 5.  The legislature shall consider the effect of its actions on the price of housing in the State.  The State shall have the power to provide for, or assist in, housing, [slum clearance] the elimination of blighted areas and the development or rehabilitation of substandard areas.  The exercise of such power is deemed to be for a public use and purpose."

     SECTION 3.  The question to be printed on the ballot shall be as follows:

    "Should the Constitution of the State of Hawaii be amended to require that the legislature consider the effect of its actions on the price of housing in the State?"

     SECTION 4.  Constitutional material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New constitutional material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This amendment shall take effect upon compliance with article XVII, section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii.

 


 


 

Report Title:

Constitutional Amendment; Access to Housing

 

Description:

Proposes an amendment to article IX, section 5, of the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, to require the Legislature to consider the effect of its actions on the price of housing in the State.  (SD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

 

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