Gov. Green threatens new April ban on West Maui vacation rentals

Gov. Josh Green wants to house any wildfire evacuee who specifically seeks to move back to West Maui following the Aug. 8 wildfires.


Gov. Green wants to find housing for fire survivors in West Maui

Gov. Josh Green is pushing for housing options for wildfire evacuees in West Maui. He wants to accommodate not only those who qualify for federal housing assistance but also those who are currently ineligible, such as undocumented individuals and migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia.

If owners of 175 West Maui vacation rental units do not commit to renting to fire survivors by April 1, Gov. Green is threatening to ban short-term rentals. The goal is to find long-term housing for all fire survivors in West Maui.

Gov. Green expressed frustration with owners of the 89,000 short-term vacation rentals across the islands who refuse to sell their properties to residents. He emphasized the need for more affordable housing in the state, as it is currently experiencing a housing crisis.

Efforts to increase housing inventory on Maui

In an effort to provide more housing for wildfire survivors, Gov. Green is urging property owners in West Maui to consider renting out an additional 175 short-term vacation rental units.

To incentivize property owners to participate, the governor is offering monthly payments ranging from $5,000 to $11,000, depending on the size of the unit. Additionally, property owners will not have to pay property taxes temporarily.

The conversion of vacation rentals into long-term rentals for fire survivors is seen as the most important strategy to address the housing crisis on Maui. The goal is to provide housing that is near schools and jobs for those affected by the wildfires.

Progress and future plans

Currently, there are still 1,744 people living in hotels, down from the original 7,996 who needed housing after the wildfires. Gov. Green aims to decrease this number further by finding long-term housing options.

He has reached out to the federal government to secure funding for housing leases in Maui condos. This funding would help decrease the number of people who are ineligible for federal housing aid.

The governor is committed to supporting the needs of the fire survivors and ensuring that everyone has access to secure housing. He is urging property owners to take part in providing housing solutions for those affected by the wildfires.