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A public database listing all of Oʻahu’s subsidized and price-restricted housing units will be developed and maintained by the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO) in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu. The Oʻahu housing database will include units still under development and future developments for which subsidies and price or program restrictions have already been allocated.

UHERO hopes the housing database will better inform the community about Hawaiʻi’s current housing market, which may provide clearer insight on future housing costs and educate lawmakers in developing strategies to build and preserve housing.

“As we develop momentum in our housing efforts, we recognize completely that the availability and affordability of housing is one of the most important issues facing Oʻahu residents, but understanding a problem is a critical prerequisite when it comes to offering a set of solutions,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “By partnering with UHERO to create this housing database, we will be able to use concrete data to better develop our affordable housing strategies that we know will impact generations of residents across our island.”

According to UHERO, the new housing database marks a step toward better understanding Oʻahu’s housing market, which has been a topic of community interest for many years. It plans to extend the database to the state-level to further educate local residents and lawmakers.

Philip Garboden, Hawaiʻi Community Reinvestment Corporation (HCRC) Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing/Economics, Policy and Planning, will be UHERO’s project lead.

“Once we have the data pulled together, the vision is to provide it publicly,” said Garboden. “We think it will be really helpful to government agencies but, more importantly, it will help the public understand where we’re at as a county in terms of helping families secure housing. And we also hope the folks who live in this housing will help us ensure the data is accurate and up to date.”

The database will be maintained by UHERO and will be available online, providing users with information including:

  • Total number of subsidized or price-restricted housing units on Oʻahu.
  • Location of housing units, including property names and addresses.
  • Whether housing units were targeted for specific populations (senior housing, workforce housing, etc.).
  • Construction funding source or subsidy program that applies to each unit or housing development.

Added Garboden, “There is a remarkable range of subsidized and price-restricted housing on Oʻahu, and the devil is really in the details. What groups does it serve? Who owns it? Where is it located? And, importantly, how long until it reverts back to market prices? This database will pull data across all agencies to paint a full picture of this precious resource.”

The HCRC Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing/Economics, Policy and Planning is housed in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and UHERO. UHERO is housed in UH Mānoa’s College of Social Sciences.

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