A critical issue facing our island’s families
If you are working full-time on Maui, and especially if you are a member of working family, you should be able to afford to pay your rent or mortgage payment, with enough income left over to take care of living expenses for yourself and your children. Unfortunately, with our visitor industry increasingly dependent upon the more affordable option of vacation rentals as an alternative to expensive resorts, there is a strong incentive for property owners to market their units for the visitor industry. This provides property owners with drastically more income, and prices out local families and hard-working community members.
If we would like to retain a knowledgeable, experienced, high-quality work force on Maui (and believe me, we do), we must create opportunities for them to live reasonably, comfortably, and at rates they can afford while creating stability for their families. For most, homeownership is a pipe dream with the current state of our housing market. Affordable housing units need to be truly affordable, and developers must be held to higher standards. If they are able to break ground on new, high-end homes, they must also build truly sustainable housing opportunities that support our workforce for the long term.