Two affordable housing projects are moving forward under a new fast-track permitting process.
The first “Workforce Housing Certificates” were issued to Phase I of both the Catholic Charities 164-unit senior housing project in Kahului  and the Kaiwahine 200-unit affordable rental project in Kīhei.
County officials say the “Workforce Housing Certificate” is the result of a directive earlier this year by Mayor Alan Arakawa, who instructed all departments to give priority to processing permits for affordable housing projects.
The directive yielded the certificate, along with all permit plans to ensure permits are processed first and remain a priority until granted.
“It takes all of our departments working together to make these projects happen,” Arakawa said in a county press release. “Our new Housing & Human Concerns Director Will Spence brought his experience and knowledge of planning laws and applied it directly to making sure affordable housing and rental projects get through quickly.”
Director Spence echoed the importance of the new permitting certificates and processes saying, “The mayor’s directive gave us the vision, and we knew what had to be done. Giving priority to these permits puts the interests of our community first. Housing for residents continues to be of the utmost importance to us.”