Oct 21, 2010

Maui: Housing Issue Paper

Have you felt that the gov't commissions studies, convenes task forces and blue ribbon panels without taking action? What happens to all those studies and recommendations?

Here's a Housing Issue Paper from Maui. The dates from the quoted excerpts surprised me. Hawaii has been struggling with Housing Affordability even before statehood (The HHFDC was established in 1935)

  • [I]n 1959 the average lower or middle-income family in Honolulu that desired to buy a house was making about as great a sacrifice as it possibly could …
    – University of Hawai`i Economic Research Center. "Housing Needs in Hawai`i." December 1961
  • Hawai`i has had a serious housing problem for many years. Due to inadequate government action and a private industry which is either unable or unwilling to meet the housing needs of the bulk of Hawai`i's families, the problem has now become a crisis.
    – Office of the Lieutenant Governor. "Hawai`i's Crisis in Housing." November 1970
  • Despite the production of over 60,000 housing units during the 1960s, decent housing and a suitable living environment elude many Hawai`i residents. In fact, there is persuasive evidence that more than one in every five Hawai`i households cannot afford the housing they occupy, one in five are  overcrowded, and at least one in eight occupied substandard, dilapidated housing … Definitive housing policies and programs are needed to attack these problems.
    – Marshall Kaplan, Gans, Kahn and Yamamoto. "Housing in Hawai`i: Problems, Needs and Plans." Prepared for the State of Hawai`i, Dept. of Planning and Economic Development. March 1971.
  • The rental market on Maui is tight. Prices are high and vacancies are few.
    – U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. "Analysis of the Maui County, Hawai`i Housing Market, as of July 1, 1969.
    The supply of rental units on Maui definitely exceeds demand … It is unlikely that the providing of rental units appropriate to the Maui market will remain an important planning function for the next several years.
    – SMS Research. "Maui County Housing Study, 1982: Housing Need Assessment." Prepared for the Maui County Dept. of Human Concerns. June 1983.
  • Most housing studies and housing industry participants agree that Hawai`i has a serious housing problem. Invariably, a key issue of housing is the "affordability" question. Housing in Hawai`i is expensive. In 1983, the average-priced single family home in Hawai`i … was approximately $135,000. There is no consensus on a single reason for the high costs.
    – Dept. of Planning and Economic Development. "The Hawai`i State Plan Affordable Housing Issue Paper." December 1984.
  • There is no "magic bullet" in meeting the State's affordable housing requirements. We must be  courageous, diligent and consistent in our efforts to produce thousands of affordable housing units. This challenge cannot be met with sporadic appropriations from the State Legislature. A long-term commitment of resources, as well as a short-term commitment to provide affordable housing, must be made. Only then will we have a fighting chance of ensuring that safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities are available for all of Hawai`i's residents.
    – Hawai`i State Housing and Finance Development Corp. "Overview of Affordable Housing Targets." December 1991. [Original emphasis]