Over 40 residents representing business, government, education, social services and communities from across Hawaiʻi Island joined co-chairs Darryl Oliveira and Merrick Nishimoto for the 2024 kick-off meeting of the Housing Coalition.
During the meeting, several participants shared personal struggles with finding affordable housing in Hawaiʻi, shedding light on the high cost of living in the islands and emphasizing the urgent need to address the housing crisis. This was further amplified, as Vibrant Hawaiʻi Ambassadors shared a data report, highlighting the median rent prices within each district on the island.
Others shared draft legislation that was heard at the County Council the following Tuesday. This information afforded the Housing Coalition an opportunity to submit testimony in support of Bill 123 regarding Accessory Dwelling Units which could provide additional, much needed housing on Hawaiʻi Island.
Co-Chair Merrick Nishimoto shared a brief update on Hawaiʻi Island Community Development Corps affordable housing project in Kona. He extended an invitation to Coalition members to participate in an on-site tour in March. Click here to register as a Member of the Housing Coalition.
The Coalition will continue to meet monthly, every third Thursday from 1:00-2:30PM. In addition to Zoom meetings, the Co-Chairs will convene in-person meetings at least once a quarter. In March, the Coalition will meet at the Kaloko Heights project in Kona.
Next month's meeting will feature updates from the County of Hawaiʻi's Planning and Building departments.