Bill Text: HI HB746 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating To Affordable Housing.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-27 - Referred to HSG, CPC, FIN, referral sheet 1 [HB746 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2021-HB746-Introduced.html

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

746

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

 

 

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

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the State faces an unprecedented economic crisis due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has decimated Hawaii's economy and caused its gross domestic product to plummet.  By some measures, Hawaii's economy has been hit harder than any other state in the nation.

     The legislature also finds that this drastic decline in economic activity has disproportionately affected the State's most vulnerable populations.  The pandemic forced the shutdown of many sectors of the State's economy, triggering mass layoffs and furloughs and causing the State's seasonally adjusted unemployment to surge from 2.4 per cent in March 2020 to a historical high of 22.3 per cent in April 2020.  Despite efforts to reopen the economy, Hawaii still had the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation as of November 2020.  With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage throughout the world, most countries experiencing recession, and visitor arrivals to the State not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024, the State will continue to feel the economic impacts of the pandemic for many years to come.

     The legislature further finds that, even before the pandemic, renter households in the State already suffered from deleteriously high housing cost burdens, and that the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly exacerbated this situation.  Recent data from the university of Hawaii economic research organization (UHERO) showed that more than eleven thousand Hawaii tenants have fallen behind on their rent payments and that forty per cent of rental tenants have lost their jobs.  Modeling from UHERO indicates that up to seventeen thousand households may face an unsustainable change in their housing cost burden by the second quarter of 2021, even as the State's economy slowly recovers.  Even in a best-case scenario, the number of individuals facing homelessness will continue to rise in the face of the pandemic.  UHERO concluded that, from a policy standpoint, "doing nothing is not a viable option."

     Accordingly, the legislature finds that it must take immediate action to mitigate the affordable housing crisis through legislation.

     The purpose of this Act is to provide that whenever the infrastructure or equipment for electric utility service is required to be installed underground for affordable housing within an area that has been designated by a county as a transit-oriented development area, installation of the infrastructure or equipment shall be the responsibility of the electric utility company.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part I to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§269-     Underground electrical installation; transit-oriented development areas.  (a)  Whenever infrastructure or equipment for electric utility service is required to be installed underground for affordable housing within an area that has been designated by a county as a transit-oriented development area, installation of the infrastructure or equipment shall be the responsibility of the electric utility company.

     (b)  For the purposes of this section, "affordable housing" shall have the same meaning as in section 201H-57(b)."

     SECTION 3.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

     SECTION 4.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Affordable Housing; Electricity; Transit-Oriented Development

 

Description:

Establishes that whenever the infrastructure or equipment for electric utility service is required to be installed underground for affordable housing within an area that has been designated by a county as a transit-oriented development area, it shall be the responsibility of the electric utility company to install the infrastructure or equipment.

 

 

 

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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