Housing Rules Need Tweaking
As new housing developments are being eyed for his district, City Councilman Ron Menor wants a change to the city’s affordable housing rules to ensure affordable and available homes for families.
“I want to make sure that a significant number of the residential units built in these new developments are truly affordable,” said Menor, who represents District 9 (Waikele, Waipahu, Village Park, Makakilo, Kunia, Mililani Town).
The Ho’opili development in Ewa, for example, could bring in 11,750 new homes starting as soon as 2015, and Menor points out that the average cost for a single-family home on the island is $655,000. “The cost of housing is out of reach for so many people,” he said. “… We need to work on developing more affordable housing – for-sale and rental units – at prices that people can truly afford.”
He would require developers to make rentals available. Current city rules dictate that 30 percent of new developments be dedicated to affordable housing. Menor is asking that 30 percent of that portion be rentals.
“I also want to make sure that home prices are more affordable for low- to moderate-income households,” he added, noting that his desire to ensure affordable housing for his community is a personal one as well: “I have three sons,” he said. “I want them, and all of Hawaii’s young people, to have the opportunity to purchase homes in Hawaii.”
Another change would increase the amount of time an affordable unit is available at its lowered price. Current requirements state that owners have 10 years before they can sell a unit at market price. Menor would like to extend that time.
To accomplish these goals, he plans to engage in discussions with the government and private sector over his package of Resolutions (13-168 and 13-202).