comscore A single person earning less than $67,500 now qualifies as ‘low income’ in urban Honolulu | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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A single person earning less than $67,500 now qualifies as ‘low income’ in urban Honolulu

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / NOV. 2015

    Two buildings at 1506 Piikoi St. in Makiki, which were bought by the City for affordable housing. Based on the latest income limits set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a single person earning less than $67,500 qualifies as a “low-income” individual in the urban Honolulu area. The income limits are used to determine eligibility for assisted housing programs, including Section 8 vouchers, and setting fair market rents.

Are you single, and earning less than $67,500 a year?

Based on the latest income limits set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, you qualify as a “low-income” individual in the urban Honolulu area. The income limits are used to determine eligibility for assisted housing programs, including Section 8 vouchers, and setting fair market rents.

HUD sets the low-income limits at 80% of the median for the county or metropolitan area.

For a two-person household in urban Honolulu, the low-income limit is set at $77,150, and for a family of four, it is set at $96,400.

HUD released the figures in late April, noting that the national median income is now at $75,000, an increase of 5% over the national median income in fiscal year 2018.

That’s the price of living in paradise, according to real estate analyst Stephany Sofos.

“Do I think $67,500 is poverty? I think that’s crazy,” said Sofos. “Can you imagine how far you could go [with that salary] in Phoenix, Ariz., or Boise, Idaho? It’s expensive to live on an island. We all live here because our families are here, we like the ambiance, we like the beach. You have to pay to be on an island that is desirable. You have to pay a premium for that, whether or not you want to.”

The income limit of $67,500 for a single person in Honolulu this year is a 3.3% increase from last year, when the limit was set at $65,350. Last year’s income limit for a single person was a significantly larger jump — an 11.5% increase — from the limit of $58,600 set in 2017.

On neighbor island counties, the figures are slightly lower. A single person earning up to $54,700 is considered low-income in the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina area of Maui, while a person making up to $50,400 on Kauai County is considered low-income. For Hawaii County, the low-income limit for a single person is set at $44,000.

If you live in urban Honolulu and make $42,200 or less, you’re considered “very low-income,” and if you make $25,350 or less, you’re “extra low-income.” An individual making minimum wage in Hawaii, which is currently $10.10 per hour or $21,008 annually, as the sole job, would certainly meet that threshold.

The following are HUD’s Section 8 low-income limits for fiscal year 2019:

Urban Honolulu

>> 1 person $67,500; 2 person $77,150; 3 person $86,800; 4 person $96,400

Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Maui

>> 1 person $54,700; 2 person $62,500; 3 person $70,300; 4 person $78,100

Hawaii County

>> 1 person $44,000; 2 person $50,250; 3 person $56,550; 4 person $62,800;

Kauai County

>> 1 person $50,400; 2 person $57,600; 3 person $64,800; 4 person $72,000

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