HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s another housing record many folks cringe at seeing.
Maui county median home sales hit $1,255,000 in June, up 13.8% from 2021. The Maui County Council tried to tackle the affordable housing crunch on Monday, but they’re running into roadblocks.
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It’s not just home prices. According to the Realtors Association of Maui, condos are also up 34.3% at $832,500 over 2021’s median sales. That makes total Maui prices up 19.6% over 2021.
On Monday the council voted on a 100% affordable housing development in Kihei called Hale Waipuilani. The 28 units were proposed to be for sale to qualified households earning between 80% and 140% of the area median income.
“This is a chance to keep local families firmly planted in Maui,” Hale Waipuilani part-owner David Bruce said. “Give them an opportunity to stop paying someone else’s mortgage, impact the legacy of their families for generations to come, and finally own a piece of the land.”
Like many affordable housing projects, this is getting community push back saying it’s the right project in the wrong location, mainly due to concerns of flooding.
“This project will cause more congestion in the area and affect the neighborhood’s way of life by adding unnecessary stress of being overpopulated,” Maui resident Shekinah Canterie said.
The project was disapproved with a 6-3 vote.
Also up for discussion is a bill changing the definition of affordable when it comes to affordable housing.
The bill said the sales price of a new dwelling unit “must include principal, interest, taxes, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance, and homeowner’s association dues capped at 31% of the homeowner’s gross monthly income.”
A mortgage officer tells KHON2 that would be down from an estimated 45-50%.
“It’s a formula that allows our buyers to get those prime FHA loans that a majority of people use their first-time homes for,” Maui County Councilmember Gabe Johnson said.
The bill has detractors who think that the costs would be passed on to developers and taxpayers.
“This would lead to developers taking losses, the county could cover those losses but that would mean taxpayers would be paying to fund developers for those costs,” executive vice president of the Grassroots Institute of Hawaii Joe Kent said.
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That sentiment prevailed Monday, with the bill being sent back to the committee to be re-worked.