Hawai’i, compared to other states tops the charts when it comes to cost of living. There are many issues that cause our cost of living to be so high, such as the unavoidable fact that we are an island state. However, I believe that we need to reign in the costs of rentals and housing and make it truly affordable. According to the Civil Beat a one bedroom condo sells for approximately $338,500.00 and a house sells at approximately $700,000.00…which is hardly affordable to the average local resident. We must come together at all levels of government for real solutions to this growing epidemic, because this also ties in to our homelessness issue.
Through Transit Oriented Development (TOD) we can provide thousands of affordable units to our residents. TOD has proven successful in cities around the U.S., but it must be done in a way that doesn’t push out low income earners. The rail can help provide a new way of helping low income families with housing along the route which also assists in transportation to and from the work place, thus eliminating costs that otherwise might be spent on a vehicle, insurance, fuel, etc. These savings can go back into the families pockets.