Lt. Gov. Thomas P. Gill, addressing the American Institute of Architects, last night spelled out a four-step answer to Hawaii’s pressing housing shortage.
1. The State should supply land, one of the costliest items.
2. The State should negotiate "fixed-profit contracts," with private developers to build the houses.
3. The houses thus built should be made available to people who cannot now get a loan and make a down payment, "either under lease, or lease with option to purchase over a reasonable time period."
4. Speculative profits on quick resale of the house should be eliminated. The State government, Gill said, could hold an option to rebuy the property if the owner wants to move in the first several years of ownership.
Gill said, too, that Hawaii must push forward in creative design and construction of multiple-unit dwellings, duplexes, townhouses and apartments. If the Islands continue their present direction, Gill said, single-family residential "cracker boxes" will sprawl outward from Honolulu endlessly. This in turn will make Oahu a "little Los Angeles" and eat up Oahu’s prime agricultural land and open space, Gill said.
He said his program could be implemented under existing State laws, but not easily.
"It will take both government and private industry to produce answers. It will certainly take the help of those whose business is design," he told the architects. "That is where you come in. When would you like to start?"
As he has frequently in the past, Gill pointed to an array of causes for high housing costs, stressing that the causes must be surmounted. Otherwise, he said, a serious "social disruption" is in the making, driving away young families and "much of the energy and brain power of the younger generation."