Gov. David Ige announced Thursday that the state has completed its transaction to acquire the land under Front Street Apartments on Maui. State officials say the move brings the state a step closer to keeping the Front Street Apartments affordable for some 250 tenants.
The state purchased the land from 3900, LLC. to help preserve the rents at the 142-unit apartment building and prevent the rents from surging to market prices.
A new law approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Ige in June, authorized the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) to acquire the land from 3900, LLC and initiate negotiations with the owners of Front Street Apartments to keep the property affordable for the tenants.
The HHFDC board approved $15 million from the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund for the acquisition of the land at the May 9, 2019 board meeting. The $15 million figure was based on a $14,930,000 appraisal of the fair market value of the land under Front Street Apartments.
“This acquisition brings us closer to protecting tenants from significant rent increases that could displace them. We are working toward more affordable housing for not only Maui residents, but for our families across the state,” said Gov. Ige.
“I appreciate that progress is being made toward maintaining Front Street Apartment residents in their affordable rental units. I thank Governor David Ige and the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corp. for their dedicated collaborative effort with Maui County to keep affordable rentals affordable for our people,” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.
Mayor Victorino issued a follow up statement on Friday morning saying:
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“Maui County legislators, especially West and South Maui Senator Roz Baker and West Maui Representative Angus McKelvey, played a critical role in securing funding for the state’s recent $15 million purchase of land under the Front Street Apartments. We work as partners in maintaining affordable rental units for 250 apartment residents. Other members of our Maui contingent are state Senators J. Kalani English and Gilbert Keith-Agaran and House Representatives Lynn DeCoite, Troy Hashimoto, Tina Wildberger, Justin Woodson and Kyle Yamashita.
My comments yesterday focused on recognizing the work of the administration of Gov. David Ige and the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corp. in successfully negotiating the purchase of the land from 3900 LLC, a Weinberg Foundation affiliate. I neglected to express appreciation to our hardworking state lawmakers.”