Hawaii Ban On Short-Term Vacation Rentals Moves Forward

Two bills moving through the Hawaii legislature could phase out short-term rentals that are not occupied by their owner, as the state tries to tackle rising housing costs and homelessness.

State House Bill 1838 and Senate Bill 2919 have prompted a fierce debate about the future of vacation rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo homes.

Residents have long complained about the impact of tourism and luxury home and resort development on housing accessibility, as well as the lack of affordable housing and rentals for residents.

The Maui wildfires in August 2023 exacerbated the crisis, burning thousands of structures, including many affordable housing units.

Hawaii residents have some of the highest housing costs in the nation — 2.5 times higher than the national average — according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.