Sep 26, 2010

ADU's can provide 15,098 additional Affordable Homes on Oahu

According to a 2005 Dept of Planning & Permitting report, 17,098 properties are eligible for Ohana Units (ie. adequate sewer, water and roadways to accommodate 2nd units). As of 2005, 2,000 Ohana permits were issued, leaving approx 15,098 Ohana-Eligible properties.
  • 1,300 of 2,000 existing Ohana Units are located in the Primary Urban Center.
  • Approx 7,059 additional units (Ohana Units/Accessory Dwelling Units) can be built within the Primary Urban Core itself. ADUs would provide people an option to live in town vs commuting to work from Ewa/Mililani side.
  • ADU's empower the private sector to build (without gov't subsidy) more homes than all the government funded affordable housing projects planned for all of 2010 in Hawaii, combined. 
  • Comparatively, Ohana Zones have already been identified and pre-approved to host an additional dwelling unit.  Therefore, allowing ADU's within Ohana Zones will NOT increase densities beyond what is already approved. It will just streamline the process of obtaining a permit. 
  • Historically, most ADUs involve converting a portion of an existing residence into a 2nd unit, which reduces construction costs when compared to building a new detached structure. 
  • Allowing ADUs in Honolulu will help ease Housing Affordability, because it will increase the supply of dwellings in town, and that will help to ease rental rates.
  • ADUs provide an alternative to high-rises or upzoning existing land. This is especially relevant for Honolulu which has a mature urban core that is almost completely built-out. Vacant land is very limited; therefore, all future development is limited to in-fill or densification. 
Barriers to building Ohana Units:
  • $5,541 sewer connection fee (mandatory for all 2nd units), 
  • Ohana Unit must be attached to the main house
  • Min 2 additional parking stalls (required), 
  • a Restrictive Covenant recorded with the deed limiting the use: Ohana Unit can only be occupied/rented to people related by blood, marriage or adoption to the people living in the main house
 Proposed ADU alternative:
  • $1,146 sewer connection fee
  • Flexibility to be attached or detached 
  • Parking based on # of Bedrooms
  • Either the main house or the ADU must be Owner-Occupied