Homelessness, housing top agenda as lawmakers reconvene

Updated: Jan. 15, 2018 at 5:47 AM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Policies to alleviate Hawaii's persistent homelessness problem and chronic housing shortage are expected to top the agenda when state lawmakers open a new legislative session this week.

House Speaker Scott Saiki says they're complex issues that mostly require long-term approaches and are expensive. But he says House members know they're priorities and that they must put resources behind them.

The session begins Wednesday and is scheduled to last through early May.

Gov. David Ige says he's requesting $100 million in spending for capital improvement projects to meet his administration's affordable and rental housing goals.

Bob Nakata of the nonprofit interfaith group Faith Action for Community Equity says the state needs to spend about $200 million annually for 10 years to meet affordable rental goals laid out in a 2016 law.

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