Affordable Housing: Transforming Spaces, Changing Lives

The housing outlook for local residents is looking a lot brighter than it did eight years ago — and not only because of this year’s significant appropriations from the state legislature. The transformation started in 2015 when Governor Ige brought together a working group of builders, nonprofits and housing advocates to address the state’s housing crunch. “The governor’s goal was to accelerate production so people can truly call Hawai‘i home,” said Denise Iseri-Matsubara, executive director of the Hawai‘i Housing and Finance Development Corporation. “What made things work is the governor’s balanced approach to addressing the issues. He really listened to what needed to be done, then empowered his people to make it happen. That kind of collaboration laid a good foundation for the future: developers, housing advocates and elected officials working together to solve these problems.”