House to discuss rent control pilot program

HONOLULU — A measure for a rent control pilot project will be heard in the House Committee on Housing today.

“Simply put, the rent is too damn high. Local people are struggling to make ends meet. They are being squeezed out. Rent control is proven to allow young folks to save up to buy homes, and prevent kupuna on fixed income from becoming homeless,” said Rep. Kaniela Ing (D-South Maui), who introduced the bill.

Ing says that Mainland jurisdictions with similar costs of living to Hawaii have already enacted rent control, and that the measure, House Bill 1267, encompasses the best practices of modern rent control developed through compromises between renters and landlords over the course of decades.

The intent of the measure is to supplement measures that tackle Hawaii’s homelessness and affordable housing problems like “Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion” and “Housing First.”

While rent control measures are typically adopted by county and city governments, Ing says someone has to intervene.

“Why aren’t we already having this conversation? Someone has to lead. Homelessness, our high cost of living and affordable housing, our state’s greatest problems, can all be solved when our leaders take bold action,” said Ing.

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