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Hawaii officials pursue affordable housing solutions


Hawaii housing officials are reminding lawmakers that low-income families need more affordable housing.

Rick Cassidy conducted a housing study for the state. He told lawmakers Tuesday that 84,000 families in Hawaii struggle to house themselves. Cassidy says second homes and investor units eat up 10 to 40 percent of the housing stock.

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands reports it broke ground on more than 450 lots statewide in the past two years. Its program to help Native Hawaiians with land and housing has a wait list of around 26,000 people.

Honolulu housing director Jun Yang says he wants to encourage “ohana” or in-law units. But lawmakers warn that could lead to congested neighborhoods and parking problems.

On Hawaii’s Big Island housing officials are considering building micro-units made from shipping containers.

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