Since receiving a $2.3 million HUD-DOT Community Challenge Planning Grant in October 2010, the City and County of Honolulu have made great progress toward their goal of creating transit-oriented development (TOD) around the planned Honolulu Rail Transit Project.
A task force, drawing from non-profit and for-profit developers, public agencies, and Kamehameha schools, also held a series of meetings between April and July of this year to decide on how the city would spend its grant money and make specific policy and program recommendations.
Terrance Ware, the TOD Administrator for the City and County of Honolulu, envisions the project as a way to address some of the city’s housing problems.
“There’s a huge disparity between the cost of buying a house and people’s wages,” he said, “[so] the idea was to take a look at best practices and think of how we could invest the majority of the [HUD] money as a catalyst. I think where we’re going with this is to take one particular station neighborhood and use it as a Petri dish to ask what kinds of policies — additive or reductive — would act as a catalyst for housing? What type of investment would actually lead to affordable housing?”