Local Connection: Cost of Living in 2020

Local Connection: Cost of Living in 2020

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -It’s sad to say that many of us are looking ahead to the year 2020 with some real concern.

Statistics about the state of Hawaii’s economy – especially for the middle and working class — are chilling.

Hawaii is becoming less affordable while salaries are barely improving – and businesses are not generating jobs that pay enough to keep up with the cost of living.

Experts tell us over and again that the biggest factor in our cost of living is the lack of affordable housing, which can be fixed.

And the benefits of doing so would impact literally every challenge we have in this state.

It will help us keep our teachers teaching and keep our first responders and young professionals from leaving the state for better lifestyles on the Mainland.

It will enable lower income folks to work fewer hours so they can attend to their families and end a cycle of poverty that begins with children neglected at home.

Making affordable housing for purchase and rent pays for itself; and there is already hundreds of millions of dollars available in state housing accounts to finance projects.

But our leadership must unify – to set aside so many barriers that now prevent rapid construction. Let’s make that resolution number one for 2020.

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