Maui News

Affordable Housing Bill Introduced on Maui

November 3, 2017, 11:23 AM HST
* Updated November 3, 11:25 AM
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A new bill has been introduced to the Maui County Council, proposing that housing be kept affordable for an extended period through deed restrictions.

Kahului, Maui. PC: by Wendy Osher.

The legislation was introduced by Councilmember Elle Cochran, who is seeking to amend the county’s residential workforce housing policy and conditions for the use of county affordable housing fund money.

The Maui County Code currently allows affordable homes to be sold at market rate after five, eight or 10 years of ownership.

“Every five to 10 years we lose every affordable unit that’s been built,” said Cochran. “Therefore, we are unable to grow and keep an inventory of real, affordable homes.”

The proposed bill includes a formula to establish a maximum resale price for affordable housing units, based upon several factors including the original subsidy of the home and the years of homeownership.

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The proposal manages appreciation in a way that allows the homeowner to build equity while keeping the resale price below market rates. The formula was adapted from a community land trust that has been successful in building and maintaining affordable homes in Maui.

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“By limiting the rapid appreciation of affordable units driven by market forces, we will protect and maintain an affordable pool of housing for our workforce. To solve our housing crisis for the long term, we must preserve the limited inventory of affordable housing we have in Maui County and ensure it’s available for our next generations, too” said Cochran.

“Other jurisdictions have passed similar legislation and have shown long-term affordability measures such as this to be a crucial part of building their affordable housing inventory,” Cochran said.

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