Rent Survey to be Conducted on Hawai‘i Island
Families on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu will soon be surveyed by SMS Research & Marketing Services on what they are paying for rent. The Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority and Counties of Honolulu and Hawai‘i have commissioned the survey.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually publishes Fair Market Rents based on data from the U.S. Census. HUD’s Fair Market Rents are used to set pricing for many federally subsidized programs, including Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, that help low-income families obtain and keep safe, decent and sanitary housing.
Proposed HUD 2018 Fair Market Rents will decrease from 2017.
“Voucher holders already have a difficult time finding safe, decent and affordable rentals within the range of HUD Fair Market Rents,” said Hawai‘i Island House Administrator Neil Gyotoku. “Decreasing Fair Market Rents will worsen the situation especially in high rent areas such as West Hawai‘i.”
The information collected will be used to support the state’s request to HUD to re-evaluate the 2018 Fair Market Rents for O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.
“HUD’s Fair Market Rents are also used to determine Difficult to Develop Areas (DDAs) under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program,” said Craig K. Hirai, executive director of HHFDC. Rental housing projects located in a DDA can receive additional tax credits, and therefore, increase financial feasibility.”
The rent surveys will be mailed to selected households and be short. Non-renters need only answer one question, but the agency is asking everyone to answer the survey for accurate results. The data will be not used for any other purpose and kept strictly confidential. Only county-wide average rents will be reported to HUD and individual responses will be destroyed at the end of the project.