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Posted: Monday, April 14th, 2014 12:53 PM HST

Group plugs tiny homes as Hawaii housing solution

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Advocates in Honolulu are proposing that Hawaii update its ohana housing regulations so the tiny homes might address the state's urgent housing shortage.

The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice has released a report on how the homes could expand affordable housing. Ohana homes are the traditional name in Hawaii for accessory dwelling units, or smaller homes built onto houses or as standalone units in single-family lots.

Victor Geminiani, executive director of the nonprofit, tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that counties need to get creative to address a housing shortfall estimated at 19,000 affordable units in the next two years. He says that while ordinances allowing for ohana homes have been around since 1982, they will need to be changed if counties are to build more cheap living spaces in existing yards.

Geminiani says Honolulu County allows two attached units on a 7,500-square-foot lot and two detached units on a 10,000-square-foot lot. He says relaxing those restrictions, or revising requirements on how much parking a home must have, would allow for greater density.

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