Big Island residents: OPPOSE Bill 108 to protect affordable housing

Hawaii County Council’s Committee on Planning will be hearing Bill 108 Draft 3 on Tuesday, July 10 at 10:30am at Hawai’i County Building (25 Aupuni St. Hilo, HI). Bill 108 Draft 3 is a bad bill that needs to be opposed to protect our affordable housing from being turned into vacation rentals (aka short-term rentals, or STRs).

Submit written or video testimony before Monday, July 9 at 12:00pm by emailing [email protected]. Click here for more details on submitting testimony.

Here are some reasons why we are opposing Bill 108 Draft 3:

  • The bill defines a short-term rental (STR) as “a dwelling unit of which the owner or operator does not reside on the building site, that has no more than five bedrooms for rent on the building site, and is rented for a period of thirty consecutive days or less. This definition shall not apply to the short-term use of an owner’ s primary residence as defined under the Internal Revenue Code.” (emphasis added)
    • This means if the owner resides in the same building, it is not even considered an STR and is not regulated at all. Proving how much time the owner actually spends in the building is essentially impossible, meaning as long as the owner claims this as the legal residence, the building is exempt no matter how many units it offers. A very big loophole.
    • This also means buildings with more than five bedrooms are not STRs and therefore have no regulations.
  • The bill doesn’t mention anything about rental services or platforms like Airbnb, which advertise STRs. These services should be required to file reports of the units they list in order to effectively enforce any vacation rental regulations.
  • It does not include any penalties for those who would violate this new law.
  • It does not allow private enforcement, such as allowing neighbors to file complaints or take private actions