Addressing Our Housing Crisis
Hawai‘i faces a tremendous shortage of affordable housing units—for every 100 families in need of affordable housing, only 29 affordable housing units are available. This affordable housing shortage makes it increasingly difficult for families with limited resources to find a safe place to live, put food on the table, and make basic ends meet. One result of the affordable housing crisis has been a sharp rise in Hawai‘i’s homeless population. Homelessness in Hawai‘i has increased by close to 20% over the past 5 years, and today, Hawaiʻi has the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the country.
Hawai‘i’s affordable housing shortage, combined with the soaring cost of living in the islands, has made it impossible for many families who have lived in Hawai‘i for generations to buy, or even rent a home. Each year, thousands of Hawai‘i residents leave because they can no longer afford to live in our state. Tulsi has long advocated building up rather than out, particularly on O‘ahu, to make the most of our limited space and ensure that our environment and agricultural lands are preserved. She is committed to expanding access to affordable housing opportunities, promoting home ownership, providing transitional housing, and helping those who are house-less get the immediate relief and long-term support they need.
Tulsi Supports Federal Funding and Tax Relief to Help Address the Affordable Housing Shortage
To assist these efforts, Tulsi has supported federal funding for numerous programs that help state and local governments address housing issues including Section 8 Housing, Housing for the Elderly, Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant and Loan programs, HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, and the HOME Investment Partnership program. She has also strongly supported Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which have helped to develop and rehabilitate thousands of homes in Hawai‘i and created more than 2,900 jobs in Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District over the past 30 years. In Congress, Tulsi has co-sponsored legislation to make permanent and expand the temporary minimum credit rate for the low-income housing tax credit program, as well as legislation to increase Low Income Housing Tax Credits for individuals who have experienced a Federally Declared Natural Disaster. While she has continued to push hard to address this crisis head on, there is still so much work to be done. Tulsi remains committed to working to address this crisis.
Native Hawaiian Housing
Since the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) was first established in 1996, it has strengthened indigenous self-determination and empowered Native people by addressing affordable housing needs. In Hawai'i, NAHASDA has increased homeownership among Native Hawaiians, brought hope to many people who are living paycheck to paycheck and helped to remove roadblocks to economic success. Tulsi is working to pass legislation reauthorizing NAHASDA in Congress to ensure this program continues for generations to come.
More on Addressing Our Housing Crisis
Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House floor today urging Congress to vote against the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (H.R.10), a bill that would roll back financial regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the statement below after voting to pass a bipartisan funding bill to keep the government open through September 2017:
Līhue, HI—More than 500 Kauaʻi residents packed into the Veterans Center in Līhue to hear from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) at her sixth Town Hall on a statewide tour. The audience shared concern over the difficulty in accessing quality affordable healthcare, expressed strong support for Rep.
Honolulu, HI—This morning on Kauaʻi, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) continued her focus on criminal justice reform by touring the Kauaʻi Community Correctional Facility.
Since 1987, Low Income Housing Tax Credits have helped develop and rehabilitate 2,620 homes and have created 2,961 jobs in Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District. This week, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard held a roundtable discussion with leading housing development experts to talk about Hawaiʻi's affordable housing development plans. Discussions included growing support for USDA rural housing programs, federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, public housing Moving to Work designation, and statewide homeless service programs.