The Tiny House Movement Gains Ground With Hawai’i Homeowners

By HOM Editorial Team
January 2017
tiny homes
Tiny homes are built with space saving features like lofts and staircases that double as dresser drawers.

If you’ve tuned into HGTV recently, you’ve likely noticed that tiny houses are on the rise. Shows like, Tiny House Builders or Tiny House, Big Living are featuring 160 to 500 square feet homes. These Lilliputian homes are built with space saving features like pull down Murphy Beds and staircases with risers that double as dresser drawers. While not for everyone, homeowners who have embraced the trend say they enjoy the time and cost savings a home with a tiny footprint delivers.

“While not for everyone, homeowners who have embraced the trend say they enjoy the time and cost savings a home with a tiny footprint delivers.”

The tiny house movement is gaining ground in Hawaii, an area known for it’s limited land availability. The island’s high cost of land and restrictive building codes have proved to be an obstacle for many residential developers. But Brandon Hardin, owner of Tiny Pacific Houses of Honolulu, has brought a solution to prospective island homeowners.

The company’s philosophy is “Big Aloha. Tiny Living”, and their homes are giving residents a chance to buy residential property on an island known for it’s limited development space. The company offers quite a few tiny home models, as well as personalized customization. But most importantly, the homes can be classified as RV’s, allowing them a little leeway when it comes to the island’s building codes.

KHON2 News recently reached out to George Atta, Director of Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting to talk about tiny houses. Atta stated that the Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed a new accessory dwelling unit bill (ADU) with the goal of fostering creative solutions, like tiny homes, to address Hawai’i’s housing shortage.

Hawaii rental property owners are also embracing the tiny house movement as it allows them to offer affordable rental homes to tourists with attractions like a 10 minute walk to the ocean. The popular rental site Airbnb is filled with tiny house listings in Hawai’i. Including the tiny house Kristie Wolf of Boisie, Idaho built for just $11,000.

Some islanders are using the tiny house trend as a way to combat the island’s growing homeless crisis. Businessman Duane Kurisu launched a public-private partnership to build a plantation-style affordable housing community near Ke‘ehi Lagoon. The 200 plus units will be owned by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and leased to the city for $1 a year.


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