Report: Number of Hawaii vacation rental homes is rising

HONOLULU (AP) — About 1 in 24 homes in Hawaii is a vacation rental, which is contributing to the state’s shortage of affordable housing, according to a report by an advocacy group.

The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice released a report Wednesday, finding that the number of short-term vacation rental units has increased by 35 percent during the last two years.

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The number of rental units in Hawaii has increased from 17,000 in 2015 to 23,000 in 2017, according to the report.

“That rate of expansion of vacation rentals, taking that critical affordable housing away from our residents, really shocked me to be frank,” said Victor Geminiani, the center’s co-executive director.

Geminiani said the proliferation of vacation rentals is worsening the state’s housing crisis. More than half of the 23,000 vacation rentals in Hawaii are owned by non-residents, he said.

On the island of Kauai, 1 in 8 homes is a vacation rental.

About 1 in 7 homes is a rental unit on the island of Maui, according to the report.

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“On Maui, there are about 9,000 units that are being used as vacation rentals,” Geminiani said. “Only about 300 are actually legal, so it just indicates the extreme that can happen on a particular island.”

State lawmakers are considering legislation requiring websites that list residences or rooms for short-term rental to release rental operator information to county officials for license verification.

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