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Wednesday, March 9, 2022
'Tokyo Model' Can Create More Housing for Hawaii
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 4:00 PM :: 2452 Views :: Development, Land Use, Cost of Living

'Tokyo Model' Can Create More Housing

Hawaii Together, March, 2022

Edward Pinto, Senior Fellow and director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, talks with host Keli‘i Akina about how Tokyo’s deregulation of its housing market resulted in more housing availability and affordable housing prices.

Pinto also discusses how Hawaii’s excessive regulation has limited housing supply and made housing unaffordable.

  *   *   *   *   *

Sen. Chang devotes program to 'Tokyo model' for housing

from Grassroot Institute, March 11, 2022

Two national housing experts say "light-touch density" zoning has enabled Tokyo to match population growth with housing demand

“Light-touch density” policies of the sort used in Tokyo and various U.S. cities could be the key to solving Hawaii’s housing shortage, according to two leading housing researchers hosted by Sen. Stanley Chang on his “Our Homes” webinar series on March 3, 2022.

Edward Pinto and Tobias Peter, both with the American Enterprise Institute Housing Center, based in Washington, D.C., presented evidence to Chang that “light touch” zoning policies could spark a boom in local housing development and perhaps add 20% more homes to the state’s housing inventory over the next 10 years — without government subsidies.

Pinto explained: “These policies [are] appealing because they work. One example of them working is Tokyo. Tokyo has demonstrated the efficiency of using high-density housing that makes new construction easy, leads to lots of new construction and creates affordability.”

Light-touch density, said Pinto, “is by-right zoning and associated land-use requirements that legalize small, fast, economical, adaptable and simple additions to supply — emphasis on the words ‘small’ and ‘fast.’”

By contrast, he said, what Hawaii’s zoning and land-use requirements have done over the last 50 years “is really slowed down the process, favored larger structures and larger developments and less economical ones, and made it very expensive.”

Peter said Hawaii also could open up modest amounts of land for housing development, though light-touch density policies would be the quicker, easier way to supply more housing, as much of the infrastructure needed is already in place.

Chang, who in recent years has supported a government-sponsored housing-development concept known as the “Singapore model,” expressed interest in what the Grassroot Institute has been calling the “Tokyo model,” but said he would like to ensure that any use of “light-touch density” zoning benefits local families. 

To view the entire, incredibly informative one-hour conversation, go here. A complete transcript is provided. 

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