Office of the Governor – Homelessness Priorities
Hawaiʻi has become one of the most expensive and competitive housing markets in the world and we have a desperate lack of truly affordable space for our people. This is the root cause of homelessness here and elsewhere across the country. The permanent solution to homelessness is creating affordable places for our people to be housed and healed. That is the focus of the Green Administration and the Statewide Office on Homelessness and Housing Solutions.
In the absence of deeply affordable homes that can be sustained on a limited income, our systems are forced to focus on temporary relief – quick fixes like moving encampments from place to place and moving people from street to temporary shelter or other “transitional” space. Meanwhile, there are many hoops to jump through to qualify for the limited supply of deeply affordable space we have. People often work for months or years to obtain housing. Many give up on the system entirely.
- Expand Housing Inventory for Houseless Individuals Using Every Tool
- Increase housing vouchers available, acquire properties and convert them to deeply affordable space, and construct new deeply affordable housing.
- Help reduce the costs and expedite review/approvals for projects that will quickly house unhoused folks, e.g., using the Governor’s Homeless Emergency Proclamation.
- Test New Solutions to Long-Term Affordable Communities (Including Non-Traditional Housing)
- Create Kauhale – low-cost, low-footprint, “village” housing where people support each other’s healing and growth as a community.
- Partner with community groups, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, private landowners, and Counties to create homes for those experiencing homelessness in less traditional ways
- Create More Space for those with Mental or Behavioral Health Needs
- Expand both clinical and community-based facilities for behavioral and mental health healing.
- Improve processes for getting people into treatment when they are unable to care for themselves.
- Clear the Obstacles Along the Pathway from Street to Home
- Resource service providers to cover the true cost of services, reducing turnover and understaffing issues.
- Ensure the Coordinated Entry System (CES) supports timely, equitable, and sustainable placements into housing.
- Enable new paths to housing for those that don’t fit into existing criteria and prioritization.
- Call Everyone Back to Community and Aloha
- NIMBYism perpetuates homelessness, and we need every community to be part of the solution by finding space for unhoused neighbors.
- Include people with lived expertise in our community conversations and decisions, for they often know the gaps in our systems and what works best.