Committee Approves Emergency Housing at Old UH Maui College Dorm

May 3, 2019, 6:54 PM HST · Updated May 6, 11:17 AM
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File photo by Wendy Osher

Mayor Michael Victorino expressed his appreciation Friday to Affordable Housing Committee Chairwoman Tasha Kama and members of her committee for taking action to approve development of emergency housing at the old University of Hawaii Maui College dormitory location.

“Mahalo to Chair Kama for taking the first step in getting emergency housing for our residents most in need of shelter,” Mayor Victorino said. “These dorms have been vacant since 2008, and I’m hopeful that with the County Council’s help we can see direly needed housing at this site.”

The measure recommended for passage on first reading by the County Council would authorize the mayor to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. for the construction of emergency housing at the former dormitory site. Mayor Victorino and UH-MC have agreed to terminate the County of Maui’s current lease to the university for the dorm property to transition to housing for Maui’s most vulnerable families.

A memorandum of understanding between the Mayor and HHFDC outlines the roles and responsibilities of the county and HHFDC for the funding and construction of the project and its management and oversight when complete. The agreement gives Maui County access to $5 million in state funding for the renovation or replacement of the existing 12 units in the community building and funding for pre-development environmental studies for possible additional rental units on the site near the intersection of Kaahumanu and Wahinepio avenues in Kahului.

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“My intent is to take as many families as possible off the street,” Mayor Victorino said, adding that he’s aiming to help families earning less than 80 percent of Maui County’s median income. “I bring forth projects that I know are doable and can be done expediently. It’s time to get it done and do it right for the people who most need it.”

“This action by Chair Kama’s committee follows on the heels of the Legislature’s passage of House Bill 1259, which includes $5 million in state funding for rehabilitating or replacing the former dormitories.”

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