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General Membership Meeting September 19, 2018
BIA-Hawaii President Dean Uchida
BIA-Hawaii just conducted Build-PAC interviews of candidates vying for elected office. We do this for endorsement purposes, but mostly to educate candidates about the building industry's priorities. The most important of these issues is to increase the amount of housing at all price points by investing in infrastructure and by encouraging the State to take ownership of transit oriented development on State lands around proposed rail station.
BIA-Hawaii is busy preparing for our 4th annual Housing Summit in November. One of the featured speakers will be from Pierce County, Tacoma, WA. The speaker helped implement a plan to make Pierce County's permitting department the best in Washington State. The plan was extremely successful and they went on to win a national award for their program. The effort started with a commitment from the County Executive (at the time), an elected official, and together they fulfilled the goal of being the best permitting agency in the State and one of the best in the United States. A key component of their strategy was the implementation of technology upgrades which allowed inspectors to review and comment instantly, significantly reducing the time for issuing a building permit. In some cases, a problem would be marked in the morning, fixed in the afternoon, and the inspector was able to approve that change later the same day.
At the City-level, BIA-Hawaii President-elect, Marshall Hickox is participating on the Monster House task force and we're continuing to testify on bills impacting the permitting issue.
After the 2018 legislative session, when not one of BIA-Hawaii's five proposed bills, aimed at increasing the supply of housing survived, we reached out to other non-profit housing advocates: FACE, Hawaii Habitat for Humanity, ECA, Appleseed, and the Sierra Club in an effort to investigate a partnership. It is our goal to work together in order to have a more unified voice in support of housing. We are having some success and this new coalition is known as Partners in Housing. We hope to have an agreement in place before the 2019 legislative session.
Please join us for the Housing Summit at Pomaikai Ballroom on November 15. Additional information about the speakers and agenda will be available soon.