HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -There is no shortage of data that prove Hawaii's cost of housing is impossibly high.
But a recent study paints a chilling picture by putting together the cost of renting a basic 2-bedroom apartment, and the income needed to afford it.
It showed that the affordability gap here in the islands is wider than any other state, and Honolulu has a bigger deficit than any other city.
The wage and housing gap is causing unmeasurable strain on families, and cripples business’ ability to recruit the employees key to innovation and growth of our economy.
Sadly, there is another gap between urgency of this crisis and the effort and resources our government is putting into solving it.
Governor Ige proudly boasts that he will have built 10,000 new units in six years. But what advocates say we need is at least 10,000 units every year.
And the legislature hasn’t stepped up either, providing only half the money for affordable rentals that the governor asked for — and he was asking for only half of what affordable housing experts say is needed.
Lawmakers say the state can’t spend the money fast enough anyway, because of inadequate staff and ridiculous levels of red tape.
But all this is fixable. And it must be.
This is the crisis of our time, already damaging our society, without any solution in sight.