Housing

Publications

Hawaiʻi Vacation Rentals: Impact on Housing & Hawaiʻi’s Economy

Finding affordable housing has long been a significant challenge for Hawaiʻi’s residents. Over the past decade, it has risen to crisis proportions. The growth of the vacation rental industry in recent years is exacerbating these problems.

Over just the last two years, the number of VRUs has increased by 35 percent. One out of every 24 housing units in the state is a VRU, with some communities being completely overwhelmed by the industry’s growth. On Kauai one in eight homes is used as a VRU. In Lahaina, the ratio drops to one in three.

The reason why investors are choosing VRUs over long-term rentals is obvious: the average VRU brings in about 3.5 times more revenue than a long-term rental unit. However, the loss of long-term rentals to VRUs means higher housing costs for Hawai‘i residents.

One in three Oregon families struggle to afford housing

Many Oregonians are struggling to afford safe and stable housing. Renters — who are disproportionately Oregonians of color — are the most likely to suffer from high housing costs. Many homeowners also struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Not surprisingly, housing costs weigh more heavily on low- and moderate-income households.

For Oregonians struggling to pay for their rent or mortgage, the cost of housing can make it hard to afford other basics such as healthy food and child care. In the worst cases, unaffordable housing costs increase rates of homelessness in Oregon.

Housing instability, in turn, undermines the physical and mental health of families, as well as the ability of children to succeed in school.