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Home Hawai'i Statewide News Gov. Green Signs SB 2919 into Law to Empower County Regulation of Short-Term Rentals, Provides Affordable Housing Progress Update

Gov. Green Signs SB 2919 into Law to Empower County Regulation of Short-Term Rentals, Provides Affordable Housing Progress Update

by Thunda

Governor Josh Green, M.D., signed Senate Bill 2919 into law today, marking a pivotal moment in tackling the short-term rental crisis in Hawaiʻi. The bill clarifies the counties’ authority to control the time, place, manner, and duration of land uses, particularly transient accommodations including short-term rentals.

“As we press forward with our ongoing wildfire response and recovery efforts, SB 2919 will be a pivotal tool to address Hawaiʻi’s housing crisis, while ensuring our essential housing programs for Maui recovery remain robust,” said Governor Green. The Governor emphasized that properties participating in the crucial RAP and Direct Lease programs with the state and FEMA would remain unaffected by SB 2919, ensuring continued support for families in need.

“Our commitment to maximizing housing availability on Maui and statewide persists, and the state continues to extend support to legal owners who contribute to Maui wildfire relief efforts,” he said.

Acknowledging the collaborative efforts of the state, counties, and communities in empowering local jurisdictions to regulate short-term rentals within their boundaries, SB 2919 will expand the counties’ zoning powers and broaden the scope of the Transient Accommodations Tax Law.

By addressing the issue of illegal short-term rentals, SB 2919 aims to alleviate Hawaiʻi’s housing crisis and increase housing levels throughout the state. This bill provides counties with home rule authority to see that vacation rentals are not allowed in communities that do not want them. It will help clear up any issues of state preemption, but counties will still need to craft their policies to avoid other legal or constitutional issues. This will help against the adverse impacts of non-resident ownership of short-term rentals, which impedes housing supply for residents and emphasizes the unique needs of each county in regulating such accommodations.

During the signing, Governor Green also provided an overview of the administration’s recent efforts to expand affordable housing options. “We are on track to build more than 13,000 housing units by 2026 and more than 60,000 units in the pipeline across more than 235 projects,” Governor Green said. “This commitment reflects our dedication to creating more affordable housing statewide.” 

Governor Green also highlighted considerable milestones achieved in the first quarter of 2024, including the completion of three housing projects, a major groundbreaking for the School Street affordable housing project, and expedited procurement to rehabilitate more than 100 vacant units. With his signing of new short-term rental laws and announcements on increased affordable housing, the Governor reiterated his commitment to tackling the state’s affordable housing crisis and ensuring that every family has access to safe and secure housing.

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