Airbnbs are often a great lodging option for vacationers, as they give the feeling of being a local and are usually cheaper than traditional hotels. While these short-term rentals are appealing to many, they significantly contribute to the U.S. Housing crisis. Airbnbs have played such a prominent role in this crisis that their impact was recently dubbed the “Airbnb effect.” In Hawai’i, laws had to be put in place to reduce the damage done by these popular vacation accommodations.
Hawaii may be a dream destination for many non-Natives, but the homelessness crisis resulting from the tourism industry is a constant threat for Native Hawaiians. As the cost of living on the islands continues to rise, so does the population of those without housing. If we do not make genuine efforts to stop this crisis, Hawaiian culture may be lost forever.