City report: Oahu’s housing shortage on pace to ease significantly by 2030

Hawaii has among the highest costs of living in the nation.
Hawaii has among the highest costs of living in the nation.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Mar. 8, 2019 at 11:56 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new city report predicts Oahu’s housing shortage will significantly ease over the next decade ― and that there will actually be a surplus of market-rate units.

By 2030, city planners predict, the shortage of low-income units will stand at about 1,400 (from more than 6,000 today). At the same, planners are predicting a surplus of some 1,300 market rate units.

“To the extent these assumptions are wrong, the magnitude of the estimated shortage will be different,” the study’s authors cautioned. “The reality is that housing shortage is certain to exist in some form on Oahu because of structural reasons such as limited land, geographic isolation, global demand, and income inequality.”

The study is based on projects that are currently underway or are being planned.

It also points to a number of other concerns in the Oahu housing market, including the percentage of residents who are severely burdened by their housing payments.

Nearly 70 percent of extremely low-income Hawaii residents have severe housing cost burdens, which means they pay 50 percent or more of their income on keeping a roof over their heads.

Among very low income residents, it’s 41 percent. And 1 in 5 low-income residents fall into the category.

Meanwhile, just 6 percent of those with moderate income and 1 percent of upper income residents are severely cost burdened. The city noted in the report that percentage of residents who are severely cost burdened is on the rise among low-income residents, but has actually declined among those who earn more.

For the full report, click here.

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