Special Plans Branch

Purpose:  “To improve the planning process in this State, to increase the effectiveness of government and private actions, to improve coordination among different agencies and levels of government, to provide for wise use of Hawaii’s resources and to guide the future development of the State.”  See HRS §226-1.

The Special Plans Branch is tasked with carrying out the functions of the Office of Planning related to statewide planning under the Hawaii State Planning Act.   The following are recent and ongoing projects.

Hawai’i Statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).  The CEDS is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development.  Through county and community level data collection and community input activities, the CEDS provides the foundation by which the public sector, working in conjunction with the economic actors (individuals, firms, industries), creates the environment for regional economic prosperity.  The Hawai‘i Statewide CEDS must be updated every 5 years for entities to qualify for funding under the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs.

Hawai‘i Economic Recovery & Resilience Project (HIERR).  The HIERR Project aims to enable actions toward a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable economy. This planning process is designed to learn from the economic impacts and experiences of hardship associated with the COVID-19 pandemic to inform actions and develop capacity to strengthen Hawai‘i’s long-term resilience. The HIERR Project will build on both the statewide and county-level goals and objectives for economic development and resilience identified in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

Special Action Team on Affordable Rental HousingOn June 29, 2016, Act 127 was signed into law.  Act 127 addresses rental housing by establishing an affordable rental housing goal, and establishing a Special Action Team on Affordable Rental Housing, led by the Director of the Office of Planning, to make recommendations on actions to promote rental housing.  The goal is to develop or vest the development of at least 22,500 affordable rental housing units, ready for occupancy between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2026.  The Special Action Team set out its findings, recommendations, and implementation plans in its Affordable Rental Housing Report and Ten-Year Plan presented to the governor on July 27, 2018.

Kalihi 21st Century Transformation InitiativeWith the possible relocation of the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) from its current location in Kalihi, Governor Ige seeks a renaissance for Kalihi.  The Office of Planning lead a group of community leaders (Vision Committee) in convening a series of community meetings to let Kalihi speak about what Kalihi wants and what role it will play in the future of Honolulu.

Hawaii State Plan Update Phase 1The Office of Planning undertook a comprehensive review of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 226, the State Planning Act – with respect to how it aligns with current and emerging conditions and issues and its effectiveness in addressing the needs of Hawaii’s people and providing for Hawaii’s future.