Are Airbnbs banned in Hawaii? New law seeks to cracks down on short-term rentals.

Airbnb listings and different short-term trip leases in Hawaii are one step nearer to being phased out because the state grapples with a housing disaster exacerbated by final yr’s wildfires on Maui.

A invoice with the potential to reshape trip rental regulation throughout the state handed the Senate and the House on Wednesday and now awaits Hawaii Gov. Josh Green’s signature – who already promised to signal it if it hits his desk. If signed, the brand new law will go into impact on July 1.

SB2919 would grant every Hawaii county the authority to redefine zoning ordinances, together with changing short-term leases into long-term residential housing, in order to “guide the overall future development of the county.” Those who violate the law can be charged a effective of $10,000 per day.

Significant change gained’t occur in a single day, however it’s the first main laws regulating short-term trip leases statewide, in accordance to Hawaii Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole, who launched the invoice.

“It’s huge,” Keohokalole informed USA TODAY.

The invoice truly overturns a 1957 ordinance that drove Native Hawaiian communities from their houses and transformed their land into sugar plantations. Many of the opposite zoning ordinances are outdated, Keohokalole stated, and don’t replicate the inflow of international traders or overtourism.

Should I go to Maui now? Maui businesses ask for responsible tourists to help economy after fires

Destroyed homes and businesses are seen in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii.Destroyed homes and businesses are seen in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii.

Destroyed houses and companies are seen in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii.

“We know the majority of STRs (short-term rentals) in Hawaii are illegal, owned by non-residents, and contribute to skyrocketing housing costs,” Gov. Green posted on X, previously Twitter, final week. “We support Senate Bill 2919 to empower counties to regulate STRs and potentially phase them out.”

Housing affordability in Hawaii has worsened over the previous twenty years. A single-family house value 4 instances as a lot in 2023 than in 2000, and fewer than one-third of households may even afford the everyday native house, in accordance to the Hawaii Housing Factbook by the Economic Research Organization and the University of Hawaii. Rents additionally proceed to rise, and Maui has the most costly median hire in the state – a typical residence is $2,500 a month.

Part of that’s due to the excessive proportion of short-term leases in Hawaii’s housing inventory. About 30,000 of Hawaii’s 557,000 complete housing items, or 5.5%, are short-term leases, in contrast to cities like Las Vegas, the place solely 3% are short-term leases, the report stated. It’s even worse in Maui, the place trip leases account for 15% of the island’s complete housing provide.

August’s wildfires, which destroyed the vast majority of Lahaina and displaced 1000’s of West Maui residents, solely amplified the housing disaster on Maui. “With Lahaina, we’re in an emergency situation,” Jordan Ruidas of Native Hawaiian-led neighborhood group Lahaina Strong informed USA TODAY.

“The fire burned away the majority of our working-class housing,” she stated. “We’re in shambles, and people are still waiting for long-term housing.”

Ruidas stated round 3,000 displaced residents are nonetheless dwelling in motels, over eight months for the reason that fires ravaged West Maui. Some are leaving Hawaii completely due to the dearth of secure long-term housing.

“What’s become clearer, at least in Lahaina and that outlying community, is that so much of the housing stock on that part of the island has been converted into vacation rentals that the survivors are struggling to find places to live,” stated Keohokalole.

Maui County Mayor Bissen has said that he needs to “increase the inventory of available long-term units for people of Maui” and even proposed tax incentives for house owners to convert their items into long-term housing in November.

“It’s not an inventory problem, it’s the fact that the inventory is being used for something that’s not helping the community,” stated Ruidas.

Kathleen Wong is a journey reporter for USA TODAY primarily based in Hawaii. You can attain her at [email protected].

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: New Hawaii law cracks down on vacation rentals amid housing crisis

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