The High Cost of Affordable Housing

Why so little of it gets built in Hawaii

(page 3 of 3)

Courage of their convictions

Another impediment to affordable housing is when politicians and bureaucrats get in the way. During the early stages of the Lokahi Apartments project, Maeva voiced two common frustrations when the Hawaii County Council considered delaying a rezoning vote. “I said, ‘Pardon me, but everyone here acts like you’re into affordable housing, acts like you think it’s a need. Everybody got a bruddah bruddah who lives in a car, everybody got somebody no more job, everybody got a story. I say, to do nothing is a vote ‘No.’ It should go on the record that you’re against affordable housing.’

“ ‘You’re trying to make me solve all kinds of other problems. Saying, ‘Oh, there’s going to be increased traffic because of this affordable housing;’ ‘Oh, you need to increase the sewer system;’ ‘Are you sure we don’t need more parking?’ But I’m not here to solve every problem you have in the County of Hawaii. I didn’t create them and I’m not making that kind of money. I’m saying I can help you solve your affordable-housing problem; if there are other problems, that’s your kuleana.’ ”

In other words, shut up and let me build.


How Many Jobs Does It Take?

Developer Chuck Wathen says this may salaries are needed to afford a median-priced home on Oahu ($645,000 in August).

Illustration:Andrew Catanzariti











Lokahi Apartment Project

Where the funding came from




Hawaii Business magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts and may be deleted. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page.

Oct 13, 2010 07:34 pm
 Posted by  Quipper

Allowing 2nd units (by-right) on residential zoned land can help ease Housing Affordability without gov't subsidies.

The private sector continues to build illegal Rec Rooms in response to the high cost of living and need for housing.

Is it time we look at the excess capacity within our single-family neighborhoods to accommodate 2nd units? Increasing the supply of rentals is one way to ease the housing cost burden.

Add your comment:


Don't Miss an Issue!
Hawaii Business,October