Program Purpose:

The Rental Housing Trust Fund provides "Equity Gap" low-interest loans or grants to qualified owners and developers constructing affordable housing units.

Legislative Authority:

Chapter 201G, Subpart III.Q., Hawaii Revised Statues.

Governing Body:

Board of Directors of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority.

Eligible Applicants:

Non-profit, for-profit, and governmental entities.

Minimum Affordability Criteria:

Qualified Projects Funded in whole or in part from the Rental Housing Trust fund will be ranked in the following order of Priority:

  1. Projects awarded tax credits or financing administered by HID or USDA RD maintaining a minimum of:
  2. Mixed income rental projects or units in a mixed-income rental project where all units are for persons and families with incomes below 140% area median gross income.

Use of Funds:

Funds may be used to provide a loan or a grant for the development, pre-development, construction, acquisition, preservation, and substantial rehabilitation of rental housing units. Permitted uses of the fund may include, but are not limited to planning, design, land acquisition, costs of options, agreements of sale, down payments, equity financing, or other housing development services or activities approved by the Commission.

Fund Allocation:

A point system has been established by the Commission that gives preference to projects meeting the criteria set forth below as listed in descending order of priority:

  1. Serve the original target group;
  2. Provide maximum number of units for the least amount of subsidy;
  3. Are committed to serving the target population over a longer period of time;
  4. Increase the integration of income levels of the immediate community area;
  5. Meet geographic needs of the target population such as, proximity to employment centers and services; and
  6. Have favorable past performance with fund monies. Should a non-profit rank equally with a for-profit entity under these criteria, preference shall be given to the non-profit entity.


An initial $15 million was appropriated in Fiscal Year 1993 and an additional appropriation of $13 million was made in July 1996. In 1997, the Legislature appropriated an additional $20 million and available over Fiscal Year 1998 and 1999. The program also receives approximately $1.5 million a year from the conveyance tax.

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