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Native Hawaiians flock to Las Vegas for affordable living

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KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — Kona Purdy never wanted to live anywhere but Hawaii. As a Native Hawaiian, he wanted his children to grow up like he did: rooted in their culture, and nourished by the mountains and ocean.

But raising a family in Hawaii meant squeezing nine people into a four-bedroom house — rented with extended family — in Waipahu, a Honolulu suburb. It felt cramped, but the Purdys accepted that this was the price to survive in their homeland.

The Purdy family

The Purdy family pose for a photo at home in Kapolei, Hawaii, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. The family moved to Las Vegas in 2017 to escape Hawaii's high cost of living and returned last year and share two bedrooms in a home they rent with extended family. Native Hawaiians, like the Purdys, who have been priced out of Hawaii are finding more affordable places to live in cities like Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

Priced Out Hawaiians

One-year-old Wisdom Ierusalema Purdy naps on the shoulder of his mother, Marie Purdy, in their home in Kapolei, Hawaii, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. The family moved to Las Vegas in 2017 to escape Hawaii's high cost of living and returned last year and share two bedrooms in a home they rent with extended family. Native Hawaiians, like the Purdys, who have been priced out of Hawaii are finding more affordable places to live in cities like Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

Priced Out Hawaiians

Doreen Hall Vann wathes her son Zaiden during tryouts for a club baseball team Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Las Vegas. In 2019 Vann moved from Hawaii to Las Vegas to be closer to her daughter in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Priced Out Hawaiians

The five-member Purdy family gather in one of two bedrooms they share in a house they rent with extended family in Kapolei, Hawaii, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. The family moved to Las Vegas in 2017 to escape Hawaii's high cost of living and returned last year and share two bedrooms in a home they rent with extended family. Native Hawaiians, like the Purdys, who have been priced out of Hawaii are finding more affordable places to live in cities like Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

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