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Agencies release 2019 Hawaii Housing Planning Study

By Staff | Feb 6, 2020

HONOLULU A consortium of state and county housing agencies recently released the 2019 Hawaii Housing Planning Study. Included in the study are data on housing supply, demand and estimates of housing units needed by levels of affordability.

Findings from a statewide survey of residents to assess their current housing conditions, opinions on housing issues and housing preferences are also reported.

“The study is larger and more comprehensive this year, thanks to the generous assistance from so many housing experts, community stakeholders and the people of Hawaii who responded to our surveys,” said Jim Dannemiller, president of SMS Research & Marketing Services Inc., which prepared the report. “We estimate that about 50,000 housing units are needed to serve Hawaii residents over the next five years.”

The estimated number of new units needed is based on projections on housing demand made by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), which is available online at files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/housing-demand-2019.pdf.

In addition, the SMS study also considers units to reduce pent-up demand among people who have not been able to find suitable housing in Hawaii.

“There is an urgent need to build more affordable housing units in order to maintain a sustainable island economy,” said DBEDT Director Mike McCartney. “This report provides all stakeholders with critical information to help accelerate the development of future livable communities where Hawaii’s workforce can call home.”

Denise Iseri-Matsubara, interim executive director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, noted, “We’ll use this information to re-evaluate our finance and development programs to focus on the needs of different income levels, especially the gap income group (workforce). While we’ve been focused on increasing the rental housing inventory, we must also tackle other impediments to housing production, especially the lack of infrastructure, to make a difference going forward.”

Components of the 2019 Hawaii Housing Planning Study (HHPS), which is available online at dbedt.hawaii.gov/hhfdc/files/2020/01/FINAL-State_Hawaii-Housing-Planning-Study.pdf, include:

A Housing Inventory of all residential housing units in the state from real property tax data. ?

A Housing Demand Survey of more than 5,000 households measures resident opinions and evaluations of current housing conditions, their plans to move to a new unit, their preferred characteristics of new units, their financial qualifications for purchase or rent and household demographic information. Special topics included transportation and rail, transportation and employment, unique financing options, special needs housing and housing prices. The number of surveys completed with residents self-identifying as Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian was increased, and questions added to conduct more in- depth analysis on Native Hawaiians. ?

Housing Projections to support an estimate of needed units by income group through the year 2025. ?

A Housing Price Study – data were collected from several sources, including rental unit advertisements, a national rent producer, several real estate data providers, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the American Community Survey. ?

A Producers’ Survey of housing producers and planning department personnel to enhance understanding of issues related to housing development and to review county data on scheduled housing unit production. Findings were used to develop estimates of short-run housing production. ?

A Housing for Special Needs Groups Study that centered on interviews with service providers and advocates for people with special needs. The focus was on the demand and supply of housing units to serve their needs. Statistical data were gathered to connect the needs data with housing planning and production in the next five years. ?

A Homeless Study that draws information from several HHPS components to generate a more comprehensive understanding of homelessness as a housing issue. The intention was to bring homelessness studies into the realm of housing planning and production. The study was expanded to include data taken from a specially prepared extract of data from the Hawaii Homeless Management Information System. ?

A Tourism Study that covers the relationship between tourism and the residential housing market. A survey specific to out-of-state property owners was conducted. ?

The 2019 consortium of state and county agencies includes the State Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), Departments of Hawaiian Home Lands and Human Services-Homeless Programs, Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Honolulu Departments of Community Services and Planning and Permitting, Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns, Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development, and Kauai County Housing Agency.