Rebecca Diamond is a Stanford economist who is specializes in housing and inequality. With a wide-ranging research agenda, she has published on gender gaps in the gig economy, the geography of unequal consumption, rent control, affordable housing development, and the effects of foreclosure. She is uniquely positioned to discuss best practices Hawai‘i should adopt to increase housing affordability and mitigate inequality in the post-Covid economy, and in this conversation, she does just that.
Hawai‘i’s residents have struggled with housing availability and affordability for decades. Median home prices have climbed beyond middle-class reach, local households pay an unsustainable portion of their income to housing, and the state has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country. The pandemic recession has made everything worse.
Because the problem is so pervasive, every legislative session considers a raft of remedies. But what strategies really work? Based on the experiences of similar markets and quality economic research, what interventions are most effective, most cost-efficient, most scalable, and least likely to produce negative unexpected consequences? What steps do we need to take now to set the stage for a post-covid economy that is more equitable and resilient?