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Friday, June 17, 2011
Hawaii Government Impact: The High Cost of Land Use and Housing
By News Release @ 11:09 PM :: 9398 Views :: Hawaii County , Akaka Bill, Energy, Environment


The Conservative Forum for Hawaii's June Forum will be on "Hawaii Government Impact : the High Cost of Land Use and Housing”, free to the general public on Sunday 26 June, 2:00pm at the Naniloa Hotel's Polynesian Room in Hilo.  Featured speakers are UH School of Law Prof. David Callies, author of the definitive book “Regulating Paradise” and Big Island real estate broker David Turner.

4,800 Big Island families (11%) are on the affordable housing waiting list, increasing 1,800 families in two years. Hawaii has the highest rental costs in the nation, requiring a wage of $26.67/hr to afford the average 2 bedroom home in a non-metro area ($32.73 in Honolulu).

Among our occupied housing units, only 57% are owned, the lowest proportion of homeowners in the nation. 42% of housing is rented.

Related to this is that land use in Hawai’i remains the most regulated of all the fifty states. Is the use of land in Hawai’i a right or a privilege? It is an enormously complex process, one that frustrates public and private sectors alike.

To go from raw land to the completion of a project may well average ten years. Litigation is nearly always present. How did this happen and to what end? Prof. Callies is the acknowledged state expert on this subject, having defined the history and issues extensively in “Regulating Paradise”, now in its second edition.

Building codes are both complex and expanding. State-wide mandated building codes such as $6000 solar water heaters are already law, and new ones include new electrical requirements that could raise that component cost 30%. Expensive solar panels, roof and ceiling insulation, double-wall construction and other items such as a costly self-supporting hurricane “safe room” are in play. Hawaii’s counties have only a few months left to partially amend the code, and nearly every new law will increase costs. Another state law recently proposed would require fire sprinklers in all new homes, another $5000 cost.

Permitting is required for construction, but county approval can vary from the rare few days to the not unheard of over one year. Real estate broker David Turner will speak from decades of experience on this aspect.

Meanwhile, Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development signed a $34,000 consultant contract to study the mystery of why affordable housing is becoming less available.

All concerned citizens and officials are invited to the Forum on this very important topic. A limited number of “Regulating Paradise” will be available for sale.

The Conservative Forum for Hawaii is non-partisan, open to all, and meets monthly on topics of interest. For more information see or contact President Walter Moe 966-5420


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