Rental Housing In Hawaii

Hawaii Rental Overview

The population of Hawaii, according to the 2010 Census, is 1,360,301. The total number of households in the state is 455,338. The average household size for Hawaii is 2.4. The total number of renter households in the state is 192,656 which means that 42.31% of households are renter households. Compared to all other U.S. States, Hawaii is ranked 4th in percentage of renters. District Of Columbia is ranked first with 57.99% and West Virginia ranks last with only 26.55%.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the median rent paid among all renter households and housing types and sizes in Hawaii is $1,387 per month. Ranked against all other states in the country, Hawaii ranks 1st for the highest median rent. Hawaii ranks first at $1,387 and West Virginia ranks last at $618. Though rents are set more locally, statewide median rents provide a basic outlook of housing costs for each state.

The number of vacant rental units in Hawaii is 18,544 representing a vacancy rate of 8.8%. Among all U.S. states, Hawaii ranks 41st for the lowest vacancy rates. New York ranks first with a vacancy rate of 4.5% and South Carolina ranks last with a vacancy rate of 12.9%. As lower vacancy rates are an indication of a healthier rental housing portfolio, Hawaii’s rental housing portfolio is performing below the National average.

Project Based Section 8 61 3,163
Section 202 40 1,014
Section 811 26 193
Section 515 17 617
RDRA 15 478
LIHTC 62 5,366
Senior 73 3,283
Public Housing 18 2,650
Section 8 Voucher 6 12,716
Total 164 9,795
Note: The total does not necessarily equal the sum of each program as some properties may participate in multiple funding programs.

‡This program is not project based, instead Housing Authorities provide vouchers to individual renters. In the state of Hawaii there are 6 independent Housing Authorities that may issue these vouchers.

The average number of units per property for affordable rentals in Hawaii is 59.70. The largest market for federally assisted housing in the state is Honolulu at 3,750 units and the smallest is Kapaa at 5 unit(s). 73 apartment properties provide housing for seniors containing 3,283 units. Of the 9,795 units, 4,195 units include some form of rental assistance (like Section 8) to make rent more affordable for very low income families.

Affordable Housing by Counties in Hawaii ranked by federally assisted units

There are 4 counties or county equivalents in Hawaii. The county or county equivalent with the largest population is Honolulu County at 953,207 and the smallest is Kauai County at 67,091. The county or county equivalent with the largest percentage of renter households is Maui County at 44.22% and The county or county equivalent with lowest portion of renters is Hawaii County at 34.02%.

The density of Federal housing assistance at the county level in Hawaii ranges from a low of 69.6 units per 1,000 renter households in Maui County to a high of 172.6 units per 1,000 renter households in Kauai County. The average Federal housing assistance density for all counties in Hawaii is 115.4 units per 1,000 renter households.

The table below summarizes the Federally assisted housing located in each county in Hawaii. All major affordable housing programs are provided on a county by county basis. Click on the name of the county to see a more in depth summary of affordable housing in that county.

CountyTotal Units
Honolulu County 6,313
Maui County 1,659
Hawaii County 1,568
Kauai County 255

Affordable Housing by City in Hawaii ranked by federally assisted units

We are tracking 43 cities in Hawaii that have at least one Federally assisted housing community. With a population of 1,360,301, Kailua Kona has the largest population of these cities. There are 8 Federally assisted housing communities in Kailua Kona which are home to about 467 families, most of which are lower income families.

The table below provides a summary of all Federally assisted housing communities by city in Hawaii. All the major affordable housing funding program breakdowns are provided. Click on the city name to get a full affordable rental housing report for each city in Hawaii.

CityTotal Units
Honolulu 3,750
Hilo 496
Kailua Kona 467
Kahului 447
Lahaina 412
Pearl City 392
Waipahu 382
Wailuku 360
Wahiawa 320
Kapolei 310
Kaneohe 290
Aiea 255
Pepeekeo 235
Mililani 167
Waimanalo 166
Waianae 158
Kihei 144
Kamuela 105
Lihue 104
Kaunakakai 85
Waikoloa 72
Kekaha 72
Kailua, Kona 66
Kahuku 64
Koloa 56
Lanai City 48
Makawao 40
Lanai City Lanai 39
Pahoa 32
Ewa Beach 31
Kihei-maui 30
Kapaau 29
Kailua 28
Captain Cook 27
Lanai 24
Keaau 20
Wailua 18
Kihei Maui 18
Maunaloa 12
Pahala 8
South Kona 6
Kapaa 5
Naalehu 5

Housing Authorities in Hawaii ranked by assisted units and vouchers

Housing authorities are governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities that manage various Federal housing assistance programs on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These programs include Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other programs.

There are 6 housing authorities in Hawaii. These housing authorities own and operate an aggregate of public housing units and administer Section 8 rental vouchers. Of the 6 housing authorities, 0% have both a public housing and Section 8 program.

The largest housing authority in Hawaii by total housing assistance units managed is Hawaii Public Housing Authority (Public Housing Office) with 5,670 public housing units under management (5,670 public housing units and 0 Section 8 vouchers).

The table below provides a list of housing authorities in Hawaii and includes each housing authorities public housing and Section 8 voucher count. Click on the housing authority name to get more details on the housing authority.

NamePublic Housing UnitsSection 8 Vouchers
Hawaii Public Housing Authority (Public Housing Office) 5,670 -
City and County of Honolulu Department of Community Services - 4,607
Hawaii Public Housing Authority (Section 8 Office) - 3,495
County of Hawaii Office of Housing and Community Development - 1,805
County of Maui - 1,464
Kauai County Housing Agency - 1,345

Federally Assisted Affordable Rental Housing

According to our affordable housing data, Hawaii has a total of 164 rental properties that receive at least one form of Federal housing assistance and are at least partially reserved for low income persons. These properties contain an estimated 9,795 rental housing units. (Note: Some of the Federal source data we use does not include total unit count for a property -- most notably the LIHTC database -- so the number of units listed here may be less than the actual.)

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is the largest assistance program by unit count. The program assists 5,366 in Hawaii.




Average Household Size


Total Renters


Renter Households


Median Rent


Gross Rent Paid By All Renters


Vacant Units For Rent


Vacancy Rate


Federally Assisted Units


Federally Assisted Projects


Tax Credit Projects/Units


Project Based Section 8 Projects/Units


Section 515 Projects/Units


Section 202 Projects/Units


Section 811 Projects/Units


RD Rental Assisted Projects/Units


Senior Projects/Units


Units with Project Based Rent Subsidy


Average Units Per Property