Feds could slash Hawaii's affordable housing funding

Feds could slash Hawaii's affordable housing funding
Published: Jul. 20, 2015 at 9:00 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 21, 2015 at 2:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For months there's been talk that cuts to the office of Housing and Urban Development's Home Investment Partnership Program are coming.
Local leaders say if it happens it couldn't come at a worse time.

"The need for affordable housing development is pretty significant here and the fact funds for affordable housing are being cut at a time where we are seeing homelessness become increasingly more visible on our streets is concerning," said the executive director for Protecting Hawaii's Ohana, Children, Under Served and Disabled Scott Morishige.

This year Hawaii received just over $5.2 million from the $900 million federal program.  If the proposed 92 percent cut happens:

"We'd be left with so little that we probably wouldn't be able to do much meaningful with the money in terms of development," said Morishige.

The executive director of Honolulu's Office of Housing agrees.

"It would be much more difficult for us to develop our affordable rental housing across our island if we did not have this program," said Jun Yang.

Here in Hawaii the money isn't just used for housing.

"The city and county's Rent to Work program which helps homeless individuals and provides short term homeless subsidies for them actually receives HOME funding so programs like that would be significantly impacted," said Morishige.

Right now there's no word on when a decision whether or not cuts to the program will be made.

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