In our live stream conversation with Kaaina Hull, we discuss Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs), Additional Rental Units (ARUs), and the planning department’s efforts to help create additional housing on Kauai.

Like many areas throughout our nation, affordable housing is a challenge on the Garden Island. According to Housing Director Adam Roversi, Kauai needs 5,000 new homes to meet the needs of its current population. Through a variety of projects, programs, and developers, there are numerous projects currently on the books in the near term including:

• Ele’ele: Lima Ola – 650 units –Hoping to break ground on infrastructure work in the summer of 2020

• Kapa’a: Hokua Place and Kealia Mauka – Developments that’d provide housing in accordance with Ordinance 860 –Developers are working through a process still years out if approved

• Kilauea – 2 acres – still in an investigatory phase in partnership with HPHA

• Koloa: Koa’e Makana has 133 units is currently taking applications

• Lihue: The ‘Ohana Zone –22 units – Lihue – targeted demographic needing social services – anticipated completion by end of 2020

• Lihue: Pua Loke  – 53 units – Lihue- anticipated completion by end of 2020

• Waimea: Hua Kai –  67 units – under construction –primarily a Habitat for Humanity project assisted by County financing. Rentals and for purchase will be available.

As you can see, the projects above constitute less than 1500 units so we have a lot of work to do to mitigate our housing challenges. Of all the angles on building affordable housing that I have seen in my fifteen years on the island, Habitat for Humanity has architected the most affordable way to build homes. 

On Kauai’s residentially zoned parcels, the county allows for options to add additional housing units and in the interview, we discuss the process, review the density, and costs. The ARU is a relatively new ordinance, released in 2019,  designed to add small rental units on properties either attached or detached. You can view the ARU ordinance here. The graphic below provides a definition of the dwelling unit types. On A-zoned property (agricultural) ARUs are not currently permitted.

Feel free to send me questions regarding these expansion options and my team and I will get the answers for you promptly.


Dwelling Unit Count by Parcel Sq. Ft. Threshold