Hawaii's $28B budget a mixed bag on homelessness, housing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's $28B budget a mixed bag on homelessness, housing

Hawaii State Capitol (Image: Hawaii News Now/file) Hawaii State Capitol (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are planning to spend $28 billion over the next two years.

The state budget approved Tuesday includes money for homelessness programs, improving school buildings and fighting rat lungworm disease.

Lawmakers approved more money for homelessness services and enforcing rules prohibiting living on sidewalks than they did last year.

But housing advocates say money set aside for affordable housing won't go far enough to allay the housing and homelessness crisis.

State lawmakers last year committed to create 22,500 new affordable housing units in a decade. Housing advocate Catherine Graham says they're not setting aside enough money to reach that goal. A proposal to spend $2 billion on housing development failed.

House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke says in addition to affordable housing the state has to fund schools and hospitals.

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