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David Lassner, Heather Piper, Denise Eby Konan and Donna Vuchinich

To help address the growing crisis of affordable housing in Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiʻi Community Reinvestment Corporation (HCRC) has donated $790,000 to establish the HCRC Distinguished Professorship in Affordable Housing. This endowment supports the establishment of a professorship in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO) in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

According to Zumper National Rent Report, an analysis of rental data from more than 1 million active listings across the U.S., Hawaiʻi’s affordable housing crisis continues to grow. While cities such as San Francisco and New York have seen median rent for two-bedrooms decline by 2.6 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, from a year ago, Honolulu rose by 7.2 percent. Median monthly rent for a two-bedroom in Honolulu is estimated to be $2,390.

The goal of the HCRC Distinguished Professorship in Affordable Housing is to deepen understanding of the affordable housing issue and develop innovative, effective policy and programmatic alternatives.

The projected benefits include:

  • Training a new generation of housing practitioners dedicated to developing affordable housing and affordable housing policy;
  • Establishing a robust research agenda focused on identifying and evaluating ways to increase housing affordability, particularly those suitable for the state; and
  • Disseminating research findings to policymakers, stakeholders and the general public to increase awareness and understanding of the nature of the problem and potential solutions.

“Given how important affordable housing is to Hawaiʻi’s socio-economic health and future, we are very grateful to HCRC for establishing this fund. With this gift we will be able to recruit and retain faculty of the highest caliber to teach and conduct research in housing policy and planning with a focus on affordability for those of low and moderate incomes,” said Denise Eby Konan, dean of the College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa.

For more, read the full story on the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation website.

Goal of $1 million

HCRC and the college are raising additional funds to bring the endowment to $1 million to support research, teaching and policy engagement activities.

To make a gift please contact Executive Director of Development Matt Henry at (808) 956-6701. You can also make a gift online.

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