Renee Ing: Housing Shortage Demands Emergency Response


Photo:  Kahauiki Village on Nimitz Highway is a possible model for affordable housing in Hawaii.


by Renee Ing ~ Green Party candidate for Hawaii lieutenant governor.

Building low-cost affordable homes on government-owned land can greatly reduce prices.

Homelessness has reached crisis proportions in Hawaii. Neal Milner hit it on the nose in Civil Beat (“Treat Hawaii’s Housing Shortage Like The Disaster It Is”).

We must treat the housing shortage as an emergency — like the Big Island crisis — and that attitude “needs to drive housing policy” with out-of-the-box thinking. 

Land is expensive in Hawaii — a huge obstacle to affordability. The cost of the land under our housing is generally 50 percent to 75 percent of the unit’s total cost. Half the land in the state is government land, and Hawaii already allows affordable housing on leased government land in many locations. When Eric Gill recently asked Gov. David Ige to allow Local 5 to build their affordable housing on state land, the governor was amenable...

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