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buildings in Waikiki with Diamond Head in background

At least 10,000 Hawaiʻi families will experience housing cost burdens created by the COVID-19 pandemic through 2021, in addition to the normal strains of the state’s housing market, according to new findings released by the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO).

Philip Garboden, Hawaiʻi Community Reinvestment Corporation professor in affordable housing, and assistant professor in UHERO and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Social Sciences; and Isabelle Picciotto, UHERO graduate research assistant, also said that rental assistance needs by some households will be extended and last beyond 2021.

They suggested the need for a policy intervention that moves beyond a single influx of cash assistance to one that adjusts to household needs as the economy recovers. Garboden and Picciotto said that much remains unknown regarding the state’s economy, and their findings should be interpreted as rough estimates to help guide contingency planning.

UHERO first looked at the impact of the COVID-19 economic downturn on renters in summer 2020. Since then, new outbreaks, locally and nationally, and a continued delay in a second round of relief from the federal government, have preempted hopes for a steady economic recovery.

Read the full blog post on UHERO’s website.

UHERO is housed in the College of Social Sciences.

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