What Is An Affordable Rental?
There is no doubt that the cost of living continues to increase for both owners and renters. In this connection, on the island of Oahu, for persons who fall into the low-income bracket, not only are housing options expensive, they are also in limited supply. Affordable rentals are rental properties that are only allowed for qualified residents whose income is lower than the area median income (AMI). AMI is the term used to determine what the median income is for a certain region. Because different regions have varying income levels, the government uses AMI to define what is considered median in a certain area. On Oahu, for a family of four, the average median income is approximately $78,300. The United States Government considers affordable housing costs to be at or below 30% of a person’s income.
Housing Market: Background
According to the City and County of Honolulu, “Oahu needs over 24,000 additional housing units by 2016, with over 18,000 or 75% of the total projected demand for households earning less than 80% of area median income.” In short, Oahu needs 18,000 housing units by next year to keep up with the demand for affordable housing.
With consideration to the growing need of affordable rentals, the fastest growing demographic of residents on Oahu are persons over 65 years of age. According to the City and County of Honolulu, the senior community is expected to rise from 14.5% to 23.6% of the State’s total population from 2010 to 2040.
Affordable Rentals: Private Options
With respect to the foregoing, in an effort to boost the number of available affordable rentals on the market, the City and County of Honolulu passed Bill 20 to facilitate and allow for the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). An ADU is a separate, attached or detached, secondary single-family dwelling located on the same lot of a primary single-family dwelling. The ADU must include a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom for its residents.
For many seniors, especially those living on the same lot as their families, ADU’s help facilitate aging in place while affording their rental expenses (for more information please see our article titled: “ADU’S AND YOU!” ).
Affordable Rentals For Seniors:
Generally speaking, affordable rentals are rentals that have been developed with government funding. These properties are only available to persons over 65 years old (with a select few allowing seniors 55 and older). Because these properties have been developed with government funding, there are specific income limitations for applicants. In addition to this, there are limits on what these properties can rent for i.e., many of these housing options are at fixed rental rates.
There are however, newer developments, which are created under public-private partnerships. According to the Honolulu, Hawaii Department of Elderly Affairs Division, these buildings are privately developed apartments that offer low rents to seniors. In this connection, the developers receive certain government incentives like tax credits or finance assistance.
It is important to note that although these properties are exclusive to seniors, they are not assisted living facilities. Seniors are expected to live independently and arrange
How Do I Qualify and Apply For Affordable Housing?
The Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA) has available on their website a list of general guidelines for applicants for affordable housing which can be viewed at the following website addresses: http://www.hpha.hawaii.gov/documents/06rents.pdf
To receive an application for public housing, please contact the HPHA for further assistance, there are several websites which prospective residents can also refer to. These sites provide information, consulting services and or, affordable rental properties. These websites are as follows:
The National Center For Housing Management:
The National Affordable Housing Management Association:
Elizabeth Moreland Consulting, Inc.
Locations, LLC Affordable Rentals:
Examples Of Some Affordable Rentals:
For additional information on any of the following properties, please contact Bradley Isa of Locations Property Management at 808.738.3105 or by e-mail [email protected].