HUD: $93,000 now considered 'low income' on Oahu - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

HUD: $93,000 now considered 'low income' on Oahu

The median prices of homes on Oahu is on the upswing. (Image: Hawaii News Now) The median prices of homes on Oahu is on the upswing. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

An Oahu family of four bringing in $93,300 or less this year is considered "low income" under newly-released U.S. Housing and Urban Development guidelines. These guidelines are used to determine who can qualify for affordable and subsidized housing programs.

The new threshold is up $9,600 from 2017, underscoring just how quickly housing costs are rising on the island. 

Last year, an Oahu family of four earning up to $83,700 was considered low-income. In 2016, it was $80,450.

Meanwhile, the guidelines consider a single person earning $65,350 a year low income compared to $58,300 in 2017.

And a single person bringing in $40,850 or less is considered "very low income."

The new HUD guidelines come as Hawaii's cost of living becomes a growing concern, especially in the urban core. Advocates have noted that even as the prices for housing, food, and child care go up, salaries in the islands aren't keeping pace.

A national report released last month found that the average renter in Hawaii earns about $16 an hour, but renters actually need to earn $20 more an hour — $36.13 to be exact — to afford a two-bedroom, modest rental in the state.

In 2018, the median family income on Oahu is $96,000.

HUD income limits are based on fair market rents, which are among the highest in the nation in Honolulu.

But some spots are even higher.

In California's San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin counties, a family of four bringing in $117,400 a year is considered low income.

That's compared to $48,150 a year for a family of four in Alabama or $45,050 a year in West Virginia. 

Here's a look at what's considered low income for a family of four on the neighbor islands:

  • Maui County: $75,500
  • Big Island: $62,800
  • Kauai: $70,500

This story will be updated.

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