HONOLULU (KHON2) — With West Maui now open to tourism, return to schools in Lahaina and employment opportunities, the community is starting to try to recover more than two months after the historic fires.
Mayor Richard Bissen said that Maui County is taking the lead on getting people into stable housing. Though it will not be easy or fast, Bissen said that things are underway, including a host family program as well as utilizing Airbnb. To incentivize hosting families, the County is looking at reimbursement payments.
One goal is to get more people into what’s called the host family program which is already happening with families taking in friends and co-workers — and it’s not just on Maui
“Families and family friends we want to reward them,” said Bissen. “This is a good program because it’s statewide. It could be any county in the State of Hawaii to qualify for this program. We want to get that word out to get out to the various properties.”
“We also wanna make it retroactive paying families $1500 a month,” Bissen added.
“And Mayor Bissen, I promise you we’re not walking away we’re gonna continue to give you the resources with your guidance and your teams by guidance, we want to make sure the survivors have a more comfortable place to live with a kitchen, parking space with a place to walk their dogs.”Jimmy Tokioka, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism director
The CEO of the American Red Cross said they’re not kicking anyone out.
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The American Red Cross and FEMA said they’ll continue to provide funding and guidance for housing, clean up, and the future rebuilding of Lahaina.