Although Hawaii attracts many people each year for its tropical weather and laid-back lifestyle, paradise also has its downside. Residents in Hawaii are often complaining about the high cost of living in the islands’. Compared to other parts of the United States, everyday items, such as groceries, cost about 30 percent more in Hawaii than on the Mainland. You may be thinking that this is due to high shipping costs, however, shipment adds only about five percent more to the retail price, making the need to maintain larger inventories, higher costs for the use of land and buildings, and Hawaii’s four, almost five, percent excise tax, the major reasons why simple everyday items that we use to survive are emptying many consumer’s pockets.
The costs of groceries are not the only problem Hawaii residents face. The main issue that is presently forcing many people out into the streets is the ridiculous price of housing. Due to hard economic times, there are not many jobs being offered to unemployed residents. Now that prices for housing are through the roof, many can no longer afford a home, which not only cause homelessness to rise but poverty as well. One factor that is causing the high price for housing is the restricted amount of land that allows our cities to expand. This helps create our problem because not only are prices going up, causing people to look towards homelessness, but also, now there is a decrease in people purchasing items since it has gotten so high that it has now become cannot even afford buying a home in the worst parts of Hawaii.
A possible solution to Hawaii’s cost of living is to find acquire more land to build on, as well as building more homes so housing would be more affordable. An increase in homeless shelters that accommodate people could also be built because one big building could care for many and still give them all of the basic requirements that they need. The ideas that I express are not only influenced by my concern, but also the fact that this is what Clarence T.C. Ching has worked so hard to do. Mr. Ching noticed the growing population and need for affordable housing on the leeward side, so, he built the beautiful Lakeside apartments in Salt Lake, as well as the Kukui Gardens, which is made up of 822 apartments and a park, as his way of lowering the costs of housing, which is the same problem we are facing now. My ideas to help this problem were inspired by Mr. Ching because his ideas was not only successful, but they were award winning and considered one of the best housing projects in the country.
In conclusion, the cost of living in Hawaii has become a huge issue, but there are many solutions. It is just the matter of actually carrying out our ideas so we can help decrease the severity of the issue, just as Clarence T.C. Ching did.