This article is based on material shared during the 2016 Annual Meeting session The Big World of Tiny Homes, which also included speakers Lina Menard, Niche Consulting, LLC, and Jeremy Pearl, Hawaii ADU, LLC.
The disparity of wealth and the disappearing middle class have created an affordable-housing crisis for millions of Americans. This situation is particularly evident in Hawaii, where median home prices are reaching $750,000, and the average price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is more than $1.1 million.1
In addition, the recent proliferation of web-based vacation rental services has transformed quainter, lower-priced rentals for singles or small families into more lucrative, transient accommodations serving tourists. This overnight industry has many landlords avoiding proper tax filing, often through a lack of familiarity with the additional filing requirements and potential complications with other institutions that have an interest in the property, such as lenders and insurance providers. To the detriment of local communities, lack of oversight and overlapping boundaries among local, state, and federal governments have contributed to an absence of effective regulations to contain the vacation rental market.
New home builders and the residential housing industry are still driven by large corporations following the same building process and development procedures used for decades, with little incentive to innovate. Widespread mainstream marketing and valuing profits over innovation continue to underscore the “bigger is better” philosophy.
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