The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice released a report Wednesday on Hawaii’s “affordable housing crisis,” saying that rents increased by 45 percent between 2005 and 2012, while wages increased by just 21 percent.
Affordable housing, the report says, is defined by spending 30 percent of an income or less on housing.
That means in order to afford the $1,640 fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Hawaii, one would need to make at least $65,600 per year, or $31.54 per hour.
However, the report says that mean hourly wage for renters in Hawaiian is just $13.86.
The report notes that Hawaii residents pay the highest electric bills in the country — 37 cents per kilowatt hour, three times the national average. Housing and transportation costs combined account for 61 percent of the average income and nearly 100 percent of Hawaii “moderate income” households are “cost burdened” by these expenses.
The report goes on to say that Hawaii has the country’s highest rate of homelessness and that homeownership is out of reach for many Hawaii residents.
“A lack of affordable housing affects not only households living close to poverty— many of Hawaii’s essential workers struggling to find affordable rentals, let alone purchase a home,” the report says. “Many professionals such as teachers and police officers cannot afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment, while those in the service sector earn less than half of the housing wage.”
Earlier this week, the Honolulu Board of Realtors released figures showing that the median price for a single-family home reached a record $700,00 on Oahu in May. Board President Julie Meier warned that the high home prices would have a trickle-down effect and cause rents to rise even higher.
You can check out the full report here.
Bill Cresenzo Reporter – Pacific Business NewsHome Valuation