HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - From avoiding urban sprawl to waiving permits for accessory dwelling units to cracking down on low-income housing residents who aren't following the rules, the top candidates for Honolulu mayor have varying approaches on how to address affordable housing.
Former Congressman Charles Djou says the lack of affordable housing on Oahu is partially a problem of land availability on a small island, but more an issue of zoning.
"If you look at the McCully-Moiliili area we have lots and lots of low-rises -- two-story and three-story low-rises -- that could easily accommodate more housing stock if it went from a two or three-story to ten or twelve or fifteen story housing stock," he told Hawaii News Now. "
"That's one easy way of finding additional ways to add housing units so that we have affordable housing for our community without having to pave over all of our beautiful Native Hawaiian landscape."
Former Mayor Peter Carlisle supports using existing regulations that require developers subsidize lower-cost units with the money they make off of luxury homes through mixed-use developments.
"They get the opportunity to develop and it doesn't all go into simply those people who are living in exorbinantly expensive high-rises it can assist people who don't have the opportunity to -- can't afford it," said Carlisle.
Meanwhile, Mayor Kirk Caldwell says transit-oriented development at each of the rail station presents the greatest opportunity to address the city's housing shortage.
"With TOD comes affordable housing because what we've said in these zones is, 'Developer you get your entitlement up front. You don't have to come in and apply for it. You get it automatically if you build affordable rentals,'" Caldwell said.