Honolulu Mayor Addresses Transportation and Housing Issues

Aloha Chapter met for its quarterly luncheon program at the Oahu Country Club to hear Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell address transportation and housing issues. Caldwell has degrees in both land economics and law and is early in his 2d 4-year term. Commencing with transportation, Caldwell made a strong plea for additional funding for the City’s fixed-guideway elevated rail project, which is about two-thirds complete between the “second city” of Kapolei west of Pearl Harbor, and the Ala Moana Shopping Center east of downtown. Costs of increased considerably (to an estimated $10 billion from about $4 billion in part because of a dramatic increase in construction costs) and the project will run out of local-share funding in a few months if the state legislature fails to provide more funds. Caldwell’s preferred alternative is a 10-year extension of the one-half percent Oahu surcharge on the state’s sales and use tax. While such a measure passed the state house of representatives this past spring, it failed to pass the state senate, which preferred increases in property taxes and transit accommodation taxes. Caldwell points out that there are no alternative mass transportation or highway construction projects “on the books” so it would take something over 20 years to plan and construct such substitutes for the rail system. Caldwell then turned to a chronic issue in Hawaii, and in particular, in Honolulu, where the average cost of a single-family home exceeds $700,00. His solution is a combination of mandatory affordable/workforce housing requirements applicable to all residential construction projects, ranging from 5 %(rental)-10%(purchased) outside the urban core to 15%(rental)-30%(purchased) in the urban core, at 120% of the average medium income for purchase and 80% AMI for rental. He also touted his relatively successful Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) program which permits a second smaller (400-800 square feet) dwelling unit on single-family residential lots, with expedited permitting and waiver of many permit and facility connection fees. 1600 have been approved, 37 built, and over 100 under construction.




KeyNotes is the online publication of Lambda Alpha International and contains articles written by the members, chronicles chapter activities and successes, and celebrates member awards and accomplishments. Posts are distributed to the global membership and published within LAI’s social-media network. Check out the latest articles today!

Current articles  |  Article archive

Article Submission Guidelines


Upcoming Chapter Events