Concerns about Bill 2774
Bill 27774, an amendment to Chapter 7A of the County Code relating to housing policy, includes language exempting developers from having to build any affordable units in their developments, for the next ten years. Now, developers must build about 30% of units to be affordable. This bill, if made law, will do away with that.
Bill 2774 runs away from the problem. It is an expression of the small government, trickle down economic policy that crashed the economy in 2008 after banks were deregulated and has produced massive wealth disparity, worse here on Kaua‘i than nationally.
Don’t experiment on the “workforce” population. De-regulating the building industry and thinking the hidden hand of the marketplace is going to produce homes that wage earners can afford is a disproven fantasy.
Don’t cause a citizen swap of malahinis with no understanding of local culture for our Class of 2020 and beyond, forced off their generational home for the financial gain of a few large landowners and investors. Large parcel landowners and developers will design projects to meet the demand of mainland and foreign buyers ready to pay a high price for their piece of paradise, safe from the pandemic. There won’t be any leftovers for local buyers to pick up, as proponents of this bill wishfully think.
The County needs affordable housing. The fact that since 2007 when the 30% requirement went into effect there has been little housing produced through the developer industry process isn’t the fault of the ordinance. The County and its citizens need to redouble their efforts to meet the problem head on by adopting the same aggressive and innovative mindset that has applied to the COVID-19 invasion.
Kip Goodwin, Kapa‘a