Policy Reports

Hawai‘i Appleseed engages in policy research to help identify and advocate for solutions that will provide lasting systemic change of policies and practices in Hawai`i that detrimentally and unfairly affect low-income residents of the state.

Some of Hawai‘i Appleseed's research on issues are below:

2016 State of Poverty

In April 2016, the Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice released a report entitled “The State of Poverty in Hawai‘i: How Hawai‘i’s Residents Are Faring Post-Recovery.” The report brings together the most recent available data to provide a snapshot of how low-income residents have fared after the economic recovery.

Unemployment is low and our residents are working. However, low wages, high housing costs, and disproportionately high taxes on low-income workers have combined to give Hawai‘i the sixth highest rate of poverty in the country. Forty-five percent of families with children do not have enough money to meet their basic needs without public assistance.

By reforming the tax system, adopting policies that promote affordable housing, and increasing the minimum wage, we can transform Hawai‘i into a place where everyone has a genuine opportunity to become self-sufficient. Read the full report here.

Creating a State Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax credit that helps families work their way into the middle class. Since its inception in 1975, the federal EITC has been hailed as the most effective anti-poverty program in the U.S., improving the futures of low- and moderate-income workers and that of their communities.

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia offer a state EITC to help families keep more of their earnings. The credit has been championed by families and businesses alike in these states because it gives a much-needed break to working families struggling to get by on low wages, and boosts local economies across the state. Now is the time for Hawai‘i to invest in its residents and businesses by creating a state refundable EITC that puts dollars back into workers’ pockets and into the cash registers of local business.

Click here
to read more.
Click here to read this report in full.

Hawai‘i’s Affordable Housing Crisis

Appleseed’s July 2014 report, “Hawai‘i’s Affordable Housing Crisis: The High Cost of Our Affordable Housing Shortfall,” details the severity of Hawai‘i’s housing shortage and the financial strain it places on our working families, compiling the facts and figures that illustrate the dire housing situation facing Hawai‘i.
Click here to read more.
Click here to read this report in full.








Accessory Dwelling Units

Appleseed’s April 2014 policy brief explores the broader use of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in Hawai‘i as an option for creating more affordable housing. ADUs are separate units built on residential properties with single family homes. These small units can be detached or detached from the main structure and contain at minimum a sleeping area, bathroom, and kitchenette. High-cost localities around the country have used ADUs as a straightforward solution to help create additional housing that maintains the neighborhood’s character while benefiting property owners, who collect rental income.
Click here to read more.
Click here to read this report in full.







Reimagining Housing in Hawaii

In November 2013, Hawai‘i Appleseed released a report entitled Reimagining Housing in Hawaii, detailing successful affordable housing models like microunits, ohana housing, modular housing, among others. These models have been successful in places as diverse as the Bronx, Seattle, Santa Cruz, Alabama, and Amsterdam.
Click here to read more.
Click here to read this report in full.







Creating a Fairer State Tax System and Economy for All Families

In November 2013, Hawaii Appleseed released a report entitled Creating a Fairer State Tax System and Economy for All Families, outlining our 5 policy strategies we aim to pursue in the 2014 legislative session.
Click here to read more.
Click here to read the report in full.











Gambling with Paradise: The Effect of Gambling on Low-Income Individuals, Families, and Communities

In February 2013, Hawaii Appleseed released an updated report of gambling entitled Gambling with Paradise. While many states have looked to legalized gambling, lotteries and casinos to bolster their budgets, the effects of gambling on low-income and disadvantaged individuals have received inadequate consideration. Empirical evidence from around the country demonstrates the disproportionate negative impacts that legalized gambling and lotteries have on low-income individuals.
Click here to read more.
Click here for the full report.







The State of Poverty in Hawaii and How to Restore our Legacy of Fairness

State of Poverty cover page In April 2012, the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice released the report entitled The State of Poverty in Hawaii and How to Restore our Legacy of Fairness, providing details on how the recession has more negatively affected Hawaii's poor. Click here to read more.
Click here to view the report in color.
Click here to view the report in black and white.







Broken Promises, Shattered Lives: The Case for Justice for Micronesians in Hawai`i

Micronesian cover page
In December 2011, Hawai‘i Appleseed released a report on the struggles of the Micronesian community here in Hawaii and the barriers they face in the US entitled Broken Promises, Shattered Lives: The Case for Justice for Micronesians in Hawai`i.

Click here to view the color version in full and here to view it in black and white.

You can also see a FAQ we produced on the Micronesian community and Basic Health Hawaii here







Hawaiian Hope: Native Hawaiian Issues Project Report

Hawaiian Hope cover page

In Summer 2012, two of Hawai‘i Appleseed's interns researched various legal issues encountered by Native Hawaiian. This report summarizes their findings. Click here to read the report.













Is Hawaii a Good Parent?

In December 2010, we released our first policy brief on the systemic failures to support foster youth.

Click here to read more.

Click here to read the report in full.