Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation Announces $14.2 Million to Support Affordable Housing Programs and Address Homelessness in Hawai‘i

July 30, 2015
Press Release

 

Washington, D.C. –  Today, the Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $14,252,365 in various grants to support the development of affordable workforce housing for low and moderate-income persons, address homelessness, and provide housing assistance and supportive services for low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

“Homelessness is one of the most serious and urgent challenges we face in our state, and we need to act now to address it,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.  “With the Governor’s new working group of state, county, and federal leaders, we’re beginning to see a real and collective seriousness of purpose in solving homelessness from all levels of government.  While resolving this crisis won’t come immediately or cheaply, this renewed focus puts us in a good position to work on real, long-term solutions.  As part of this new task force and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m going to be working closely with HUD and do my part to make sure federal funds, including grants like these, continue to give the State and the City and County of Honolulu the critical resources to finally address the housing shortage in Hawai‘i and put people back in homes.”

“Too many individuals and families in Hawaii struggle to obtain a safe and stable home. The issues of affordable housing and homelessness are complex but we need to continue to work towards solutions,” said U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii). “The Governor’s Leadership Team on Homelessness is an example of both the leadership and coordination that needs to take place at the federal, state and county levels of government to grapple with these issues statewide.  Government by itself cannot solve these issues.  It will take a collaboration between the public and private sectors, which is occurring.  I will continue work with all stakeholders to secure necessary funding such as these grants, which allows Hawaii to assist and address the needs of our most vulnerable individuals and families.”

“Hawaii’s homelessness rate is already among the highest in the country. The extreme shortage of truly accessible and affordable housing on every island makes it increasingly difficult for families and individuals with limited resources to find a safe, stable place to live,” said U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02). “While they don't solve the problem, these grants will help support local programs that serve those most in need.”

“At a crucial time when Hawaii is facing a critical shortage of affordable and transition housing, these grants will provide additional resources to our most vulnerable of residents, and help to begin the process of helping them find permanent housing,” said U.S. Representative Mark Takai (HI-01).  “I have participated in several meetings with HUD Secretary Julian Castro about this issue and have emphasized the need for federal support. I would like to extend a warm mahalo to HUD and Secretary Castro for their commitment to helping our islands, and hope that we can continue to work on homelessness, along with State and local agencies.”

The HUD funding, awarded under a formula, includes grants from the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), the Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESG), the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) awards. The State of Hawaii will receive: 
  • $7,286,071 through the CDBG program which provides annual grants to states and local units of government to develop viable urban communities and housing principally for low- and moderate-income persons.
  • $1,119,808 from the ESG program which specifically targets homeless individuals and families to address homelessness.
  • $5,205,409 from the HOME program which helps to provide affordable housing to low- and very low-income families.
  • $641,077 through the HOPWA program provides housing assistance and services to low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
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