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Impact By State

Hawaii

Overview

Like many other parts of the country, Hawaii's growth has resulted in significant housing affordability challenges. Combatting housing affordability issues in the state will require holistic solutions that address the needs of all Hawaii residents.

Hawaii is home to over a million people

More than 180,000 Hawaiians call an apartment home, with demand on the rise.

63% of extremely low-income renters spend more than half of their income on housing.

Between now and 2030, Hawaii will need to build 2,000 new apartment homes each year to keep up with demand.

Legal Landscape

Legal Landscape

The state of Hawaii does not have any legal framework surrounding rent control. The state neither preempts nor promotes local municipalities from implementing rent control.

It is imperative that preemption be introduced and passed to protect citizens from the ramifications of rent control.

ESTABLISH PREEMPTION

Rent control is an outdated concept. It benefits the very few—and not necessarily those in greatest need—at the expense of the larger society.

REJECT PRICE CONTROLS

It is important for lawmakers to pursue alternatives such as voucher-based rental assistance for those in greatest need to better address housing affordability.

Alternative Approaches

Many states have adopted programs and initiatives to tackle the affordability crisis. In Hawaii, policymakers and the housing industry have made concerted efforts to address the problem. Examples include:

Hawaii Rent Supplement Program

  • The Rent Supplement Program is a state-funded program that helps eligible families pay part of their monthly rent. Each family must pay at least 30% of their adjusted family income for rent. The difference between that amount and the total monthly rent, up to a maximum of $250 per month, is paid directly to the owner or his/her agent.

Transit Oriented Development Zoning

Part of Oahu’s Affordable Housing Strategy is to award density bonuses and reduced parking requirements to developments that offer affordable housing near transit centers.

Oahu Affordable Housing Policies

  • In 2019, the Mayor of Oahu signed into law a measure that relaxes zoning standards and offers financial incentives to encourage the development of affordable housing units.

Ten-Year Plan

  • This state’s Ten-Year Plan offers several approaches to achieve an affordable rental housing goal of 22,500 units by December 31, 2026. The plan identified 10,688 acres of combined public and private lands for development based on suitability and readiness

Resources

Useful information to help inform and guide the development of viable solutions to the housing affordability crisis.

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