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Housing, Land Use & Zoning

Maui can take lead in ‘Yes in God’s backyard’ housing

This article was originally published in The Maui News on Nov. 10, 2023. _____________ Maui County should make it easier for churches and other charitable organizations to build housing on their lands. Case in point: The nonprofit Family Life Center and King’s Cathedral in Kahului are partnering to put up 85

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YIGBY law would be “dream situation” for Hawaii housing

Hawaii’s churches want to help solve the state’s housing crisis. Why are we making it so difficult for them? On this week’s episode of “Hawaii Together” on ThinkTech Hawaii, my Grassroot Institute of Hawaii colleague Ted Kefalas stood in for me as the host to interview the Rev. Joshua Hayashi, chief executive

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Streamline permitting process to reduce wait times, favoritism

Photo by Mark Coleman The following commentary was originally published in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle on Nov. 5, 2023. __________ Anyone wanting to renovate, repair, or build a home in Honolulu can typically expect to wait months or even years before being issued a permit. The situation has become so

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‘Affordable housing’ making housing worse for everyone

Photo by Charley Myers The topic of “affordable housing” is omnipresent in Hawaii, but affordable housing is not the solution to the state’s “housing unaffordability,” says Randal O’Toole, president of the Thoreau Institute and a Grassroot Scholar.   On the latest episode of “Hawaii Together” on ThinkTech Hawaii, O’Toole joined program

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Monsters of our own making

In the spirit of Halloween, I want to tell you a spooky story about a monster. The mere whisper of the monster can be enough to terrify the community. Some speak in hushed tones and others shout with alarm and dread about how its large, shambling form is a grotesque

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Stop permitting favoritism

All permit applications are equal, but some are more equal than others. With apologies to George Orwell, that was the thought that kept running through my mind as I read Honolulu Civil Beat’s new exposé on wait times at the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting. In Orwell’s 1945 classic “Animal Farm,” the

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Hawaii urged to steer clear of Vienna housing model

Above, a “social housing” block on Engerthstrasse, a street in Vienna, in August 2018. The so-called Vienna model of “social housing” has been touted as a solution to Hawaii’s housing shortage. However, a new report authored by Tobias Peter, senior fellow and co-director of the AEI Housing Center in Washington,

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Address windows issue to facilitate office conversions

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Honolulu City Council on Oct. 18, 2023. _____________ October 18, 2023 9 a.m. Honolulu City Council Chambers To: Honolulu City and County Council       Councilmember Calvin Say, Chair       Councilmember Tyler

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Adaptability is key to solving Hawaii’s housing crisis

Can Honolulu kill two birds with one stone by way of “adaptive reuse” projects?  Speaking on Sunday with H. Hawaii Media radio host Johnny Miro, Jonathan Helton of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii presented adaptive reuse as a possible solution to two pressing issues in Honolulu: downtown office vacancies and

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Hamada hosts Helton for wide-ranging discussion

Converting offices to homes, coping with Maui’s at-capacity sewer systems and revising the rules for Residential A properties on Oahu.  Those were three of the housing-related topics that Jonathan Helton, policy researcher with Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, discussed last week on Rick Hamada’s radio show on KHVH NewsRadio 830. Helton

Read More →

Maui can take lead in ‘Yes in God’s backyard’ housing

This article was originally published in The Maui News on Nov. 10, 2023. _____________ Maui County should make it easier for churches and other charitable organizations to build housing on their lands. Case in point: The nonprofit Family Life Center and King’s Cathedral in Kahului are partnering to put up 85

Read More →

YIGBY law would be “dream situation” for Hawaii housing

Hawaii’s churches want to help solve the state’s housing crisis. Why are we making it so difficult for them? On this week’s episode of “Hawaii Together” on ThinkTech Hawaii, my Grassroot Institute of Hawaii colleague Ted Kefalas stood in for me as the host to interview the Rev. Joshua Hayashi, chief executive

Read More →

Streamline permitting process to reduce wait times, favoritism

Photo by Mark Coleman The following commentary was originally published in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle on Nov. 5, 2023. __________ Anyone wanting to renovate, repair, or build a home in Honolulu can typically expect to wait months or even years before being issued a permit. The situation has become so

Read More →

‘Affordable housing’ making housing worse for everyone

Photo by Charley Myers The topic of “affordable housing” is omnipresent in Hawaii, but affordable housing is not the solution to the state’s “housing unaffordability,” says Randal O’Toole, president of the Thoreau Institute and a Grassroot Scholar.   On the latest episode of “Hawaii Together” on ThinkTech Hawaii, O’Toole joined program

Read More →

Monsters of our own making

In the spirit of Halloween, I want to tell you a spooky story about a monster. The mere whisper of the monster can be enough to terrify the community. Some speak in hushed tones and others shout with alarm and dread about how its large, shambling form is a grotesque

Read More →

Stop permitting favoritism

All permit applications are equal, but some are more equal than others. With apologies to George Orwell, that was the thought that kept running through my mind as I read Honolulu Civil Beat’s new exposé on wait times at the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting. In Orwell’s 1945 classic “Animal Farm,” the

Read More →

Hawaii urged to steer clear of Vienna housing model

Above, a “social housing” block on Engerthstrasse, a street in Vienna, in August 2018. The so-called Vienna model of “social housing” has been touted as a solution to Hawaii’s housing shortage. However, a new report authored by Tobias Peter, senior fellow and co-director of the AEI Housing Center in Washington,

Read More →

Address windows issue to facilitate office conversions

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Honolulu City Council on Oct. 18, 2023. _____________ October 18, 2023 9 a.m. Honolulu City Council Chambers To: Honolulu City and County Council       Councilmember Calvin Say, Chair       Councilmember Tyler

Read More →

Adaptability is key to solving Hawaii’s housing crisis

Can Honolulu kill two birds with one stone by way of “adaptive reuse” projects?  Speaking on Sunday with H. Hawaii Media radio host Johnny Miro, Jonathan Helton of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii presented adaptive reuse as a possible solution to two pressing issues in Honolulu: downtown office vacancies and

Read More →

Hamada hosts Helton for wide-ranging discussion

Converting offices to homes, coping with Maui’s at-capacity sewer systems and revising the rules for Residential A properties on Oahu.  Those were three of the housing-related topics that Jonathan Helton, policy researcher with Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, discussed last week on Rick Hamada’s radio show on KHVH NewsRadio 830. Helton

Read More →