By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - A House panel has passed a comprehensive bill to provide more affordable housing for working families and Hawaii's most vulnerable.
The bill calls for general obligation bonds that would be used to develop homes including micro housing units.
It has broad support from business and non-profit groups and was passed Monday by the House Committee on Housing.
Committee Chairman Mark Hashem suggests $100 million in bonds for the rental housing trust fund, which provides loans or grants to affordable housing developers. He also suggests $15 million in bonds for micro housing units and $20 million for another housing development fund. Another $3 million would go to the state's Housing First program.
A state report says that Hawaii needs about 50,000 homes to be built by 2016 to meet demand.