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Real estate transactions to disclose sea-level risk

HONOLULU — Effective now, all real estate transactions in Hawai‘i must include disclosures about the risk of sea-level rise to the property.

The mandate, enacted in 2021, requires disclosure about sea-level rise, up to and including 3.2 feet.

The Hawai‘i Climate Change Mitigation &Adaption Commission, in collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Program, and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands outlined the requirements in a flyer which provides background information on the new requirement, including guidance to the Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Viewer.

The application, developed by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System at UH, allows users to assess specific properties for sea-level-rise risk.

“Recent news of the (O‘ahu) North Shore home collapse highlights the real risks to oceanfront properties due to climate change,” said Suzanne Case, chair of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and co-chair of the Hawai‘i Climate Change Commission.

“Unfortunately, this may happen again. It’s a dangerous situation, and demonstrates the necessity for disclosing this kind of information,” she said.

Like existing flood-zone-disclosure requirements established by the National Flood Insurance Program, the SLR disclosure will help homeowners and home buyers better understand how SLR will impact their properties.

The disclosure requirement applies to oceanfront and near-oceanfront properties as well as to properties close to streams or areas likely to flood in heavy rainfall.
Source: The Garden Island

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