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Hawaiʻi Voice Joined Panel on Affordable Housing in America's Biggest Cities

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrea Anderson
U.S. Coast Guard

Across the country, local governments are searching for possible solutions to the housing and homeless crisis.

Robin Danner has been an outspoken voice with the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations. Danner shared the virtual stage with several big-city mayors and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials, among others, at an affordable housing panel on Monday.

Host Catherine Cruz spoke with Danner at the panel's conclusion about finding solutions to help get more people out of homelessness and into housing.

She told HPR, one of those ideas is “land banking”—where local governments acquire private land and units to make them available for affordable housing. Another idea was investing in and creating an ecosystem for non-profit housing developers.

Danner also pointed out the need for culturally appropriate housing.

“It feels like we’re always trying to play catch up," she said. "And, especially for Hawaiʻi with the limited land base, we need to do more vertical. We need to be more innovative, rather than just adopting mainland-style homes with the white picket fence, like I said, one house, one family, when that’s really not the reality for Native Hawaiians on any island. We’re very multi-generational in our living and in our goals.”

Danner added that there is also much room for improvement within the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. She maintained the agency should focus its efforts on reducing its waitlist and not get distracted with generating revenue.

This segment aired on The Conversation on June 22, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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