Can Hawaii end homeless crisis for good?
Hawaii could be the first to end the homeless crisis for good. A bill expected to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session claims statewide homelessness could be solved through a simple solution – unconventionally constructed housing. Attorney and volunteer director of the Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force Mike Goodman says the proposal includes intershelter dome homes. He says this is a tangible concept for a foreseeable fix to homelessness.
Many would agree, one of the biggest barriers to ending homelessness in Hawaii is affordable housing.
But, there's a new push to make affordable housing a reality. It's called the Pu'uhonua Villages Bill -- and the idea would tackle the homeless crisis head-on.
The concept uses unconventional construction, a technique supporters say could get the job done, and keep it that way. "We wanna do it all," said attorney and Hawaii Kai Homeless Task Force volunteer, Mike Goodman. "We wanna knock it out, we wanna solve this, and that's what this bill does."
The plan would essentially replace the standard brick and mortar method, and use the unconventional construction approach to implement the idea of intershelter dome homes. Goodman says it's a fast moving fix that's easy to do, and would save the state big bucks.
"Conventional construction," Goodman explains, "usually in the state of Hawaii, takes about eight to ten years from inception to completion." Goodman continues, "That's why, realistically, this could be done within two years or less."
The Pu'uhonua plan proposes building 8,000 intershelter durable domes, which would be divided among 80 villages. To fulfill that goal would require roughly 160-acres of land. Right now, the bill suggests half of the Sand Island Recreation Area, and state owned land at Barbers Point.
The price-tag to build this to life, would cost less than $200-million dollars.
Pu'uhonua is already being backed by State Legislator Will Espero who will introduce this in the upcoming legislative session.
"This is a 'get real, let's do it now,' before homelessness gets out of hand even more than we have now," said Representative Gene Ward.