LAHAINA, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Office of Mayor Victorino has announced that Maui County has officially purchased The Lahaina Crossroads Apartments on Luakini Street.

According to the mayor’s office, a developer contacted residents of the Lahaina Crossroads Apartments to give them notice to vacate the premises. The 20-unit complex that houses mostly kūpuna and fixed-income families was going to be renovated and turned into short-term housing for transient vacation rentals.

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“The deed recorded last week, right in time for Christmas,” said Mayor Victorino. “Housing stability, and the peace of mind that comes with it, is one of the best gifts these tenants could get this holiday season. It’s very rewarding for this acquisition to be finalized before the New Year.”

This led a West Maui Councilmember to take up action for the residents that would secure their homes from being the target of property development for short-term rentals.

Councilmember Tamara Paltin presented Resolution 112-162. This resolution aimed to urge the Maui County Council to set aside the funds to fully purchase the Lahaina Crossroads Apartments for $11 million.

The council agreed and has finalized the purchase of the complex for $10.98 million. The 20-unit complex will be integrated into the County’s Affordable Housing paradigm and will be managed by Kokua Realty through June 30, 2023.

“Mahalo to Mayor Victorino and the entire Maui County Council for acquiring the Lahaina Crossroads Apartments,” said Councilmember Paltin. “Many of the tenants have lived in these apartments for more than 35 years and can’t afford to lose their affordably-priced rent. Maui County needs more affordable housing for kama’aina than additional visitor accommodations.”

Fortunately for the kūpuna and low-income families residing in the complex, the real estate developer chose a path that would benefit local residents.

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“I also want to thank the landowner,” added the Mayor Victorino. “Despite the potential for making more money with vacation rentals, the seller prioritized people over profit, which is fitting during this season of compassion.”