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Craig Hirai named City’s new Chief of Affordable Housing Policy and Strategy

HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced Tuesday the appointment of Craig Hirai, the director of the state’s Department of Budget and Finance, as the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting’s new Chief of Affordable Housing Policy and Strategy.

In his new role, which will begin on December 1, Hirai will oversee the City and County of Honolulu’s Private Activity Bond (PAB) and General Excise Tax (GET) exemption programs. He’ll also be charged with leading the City’s affordable housing infrastructure working group, which aims to better align City’s initiatives with the state’s affordable housing programs.

“The City continues to make significant progress when it comes to affordable housing, and with Craig joining our team – a widely recognized expert in this important field – we are doubling down on our commitment to facilitate the development of affordable housing,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “We know that Craig will help us considerably when it comes to making the necessary and critical adjustments to better serve the public, and we’re thrilled that he has decided to join us here at the City.”

Hirai has served as state Finance Director since 2019. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation from 2013-2019, when he also served as the co-chair of the Hawaii Interagency Council for Transit-Oriented Development from 2016-2019.

Hirai has accounting degrees from the University of Southern California and University of Pennsylvania. He also has law degrees from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and the New York University School of Law.

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