Ongoing Building Permit Delay in Hawaii
The delayed permit saga continues in Hawaii as the Honolulu Department of Permitting and Planning issuance of building permits remains stalled. Oahu contractors’ staff layoffs are still taking place, and the Building Industry Association (BIA) has taken on the fight to speed up the issuance of building permits, financing, and any other issues affecting the state’s housing shortage and prolonged building permit delays.
The Building Industry Association of Hawaii
The BIA is the central voice for the construction industry in Hawaii. Members of the BIA receive advocacy from the BIA, education, and community outreach programs that strive to improve the quality of life in Hawaiian communities. This association is a nonprofit trade organization which began in 1955 and allies to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
The association takes its corporate values mission seriously:
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BIA operates with the highest standards of integrity, stewardship, accountability, and innovation in all relationships with members, industry and community. BIA fosters a climate which encourages empowerment and diligence amongst members and staff.
And, at its heart, the organization wants to provide builders, contractors, designers, drafters, and businesses with sales and marketing opportunities for their success. The theme of the 2017 BIA-Hawaii Summit was working toward a sensible explanation focusing on a solution to the state’s shortage of new homes.
On November 15, 2018, this year’s Housing Summit focused on turning the housing deficit around. The theme: Turnaround: Solutions to Hawaii’s Worsening Housing Crisis.
What about Building Permits?
Director of the Pierce County Planning and Public Works in Washington State, Dennis Hanberg, is scheduled to speak on changing a permitting process tormented with delays into a streamlined new system.
A new system was specifically designed to address permit delays, a lack of transparency and to improve customer service. The plan also streamlined the traditional paper-based inspection system and implemented technology changes which expanded organizational capacity and sustainability. The plan worked so well that Pierce County’s permitting system is considered one of the best in the nation.
Partners in Housing
A new alliance, Partners in Housing, consists of housing advocates who represent a wide range of organizations. In fact, the types of agencies included are:
- Community development financial institutions
- Nonprofit housing advocates
- Home building industry members
- HUD housing counseling agencies
The representation within the group will consist of those familiar with housing types, such as extremely low- to very-low income projects, small- to moderate-income homes, and workforce housing. Generally speaking, the group wants to support and advocate for legislation and public policy decisions that increase the housing supply at all price points in Hawaii.
This same alliance will take on the problem of building permit delays. They have the task of creating:
A complete overhaul of the City & County of Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting to reduce the backlog and processing time for building permits.
How Can Hawaiians Help?
Not only building industry stakeholders but community members, as well, need to raise their voices together to make a difference. Some actions you can take are:
- Attending the 4th Annual Housing Summit. Now, the tickets are a bit pricey. However, each community could donate part of the price of the admittance and send a delegate. If not this year, for sure, the next.
- Contact your Congress representative and let them know how these permit delays are affecting you, your family, your business.
- Call, text, or email the DPP as often as you can to say – What about building permits?
- Stop taking “no” for an answer.
Owner Built Design, LLC
We’re helping families through our designs and expertise to finally help them have a home of their own. We also work with homeowners with various renovation projects. Yet, our job is made much more difficult by attempting to get through all the red tape involved with obtaining permits for our clients. Something must change. Contact us for more information.