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Five steps to reduce the cost of housing on Kauai

Affordable housing can’t be defined simply by the cold efficiency of a government equation. It should mean that you can work just one full-time job, and afford to own a home. It should mean that you can buy groceries, take a vacation, and spend your weekends and evenings with your children without worrying about how you’re going to afford your rent or mortgage next month. It should mean that a Kauai kid can go off to college or trade-school and then afford to come back home when they’re done.

The following five steps can help us achieve true affordability for all Kauai residents while preserving our agricultural land and reducing the amount of time we spend in traffic.

1) We need to build more homes. Every study on affordability includes increasing supply as a prerequisite for affordability. This is the first decade since Statehood where home construction on Kauai has fallen far below our population growth — and it’s this lack of homes that is the driver of our exploding costs. While Habitat for Humanity and government subsidies are vital tools for building affordable housing, we will never have the resources to subsidize home construction for everyone who needs it. We need to harness the potential of the private market to work to our advantage by increasing the supply of homes according to the principles and policies of our General Plan. All new subdivisions should occur within or directly adjacent to existing towns to preserve open space and agricultural land, they should provide a mixture of commercial and residential space to ensure that jobs are integrated into the community and can be accessed without sitting in traffic, and the development should be compact and walkable.

Inside one credit union's unique 'thank you' to mortgage clients

“Derek and Michelle’s family and friends were very happy to share the experience of buying their first home,” said Jason Dubois, the mortgage loan origination manager at Jeanne D’Arc CU who helped the couple through the home-buying process.

Knapp said he and his partner were “shocked” when informed that the credit union was going to sponsor the party.

“Hosting these housewarming parties allows us to celebrate with them, and also thank them for letting us be a part of their home-buying journey,” said Mark S. Cochran, president and chief executive officer of Jeanne D’Arc CU.

Dubois told Credit Union Journal the idea for the housewarming party originally came from CEO Cochran, who had read about something similar in a magazine.

“We felt that it was a great way to help our members celebrate homeownership with their friends and families,” Dubois said, adding that the credit union has recorded “some additional [mortgage] transactions” as a result of its housewarming parties.

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