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Sea Level Risk Disclosure Requirements Begin Sunday

April 29, 2022, 4:00 PM HST
* Updated April 29, 2:29 PM
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Beginning Sunday, May 1, all real estate transactions conducted in Hawai‘i must include disclosures about the risk of sea level rise to the property. The mandate, enacted in 2021, requires disclosure about sea level rise, up to and including 3.2 feet.

The Hawaiʻi Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption Commission, in collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant Program, and the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, outlined the requirements in a flyer which provides background information on the new requirement, including guidance to the Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Viewer.

A recent north shore home collapse on O’ahu highlighted the real risks to oceanfront properties due to climate change. PC: DLNR

The application, developed by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System at UH, allows users to assess specific properties for sea level rise risk.

“Recent news of the North Shore home collapse highlights the real risks to oceanfront properties due to climate change,” Suzanne Case, co-chair of the Hawaiʻi Climate Change Commission, noted. “Unfortunately, this may happen again, it’s a dangerous situation – and demonstrates the necessity for disclosing this kind of information.”

Like existing flood zone disclosure requirements, established by the National Flood Insurance Program, the sea level risk, or SLR, disclosures will help homeowners and home buyers better understand how SLR will impact their properties. The disclosure requirement applies to oceanfront and near-oceanfront properties as well as to properties close to streams or areas likely to flood in heavy rainfall events.

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