Home News Bill to lower Maui County affordable housing sales guidelines narrowly advances in council

Bill to lower Maui County affordable housing sales guidelines narrowly advances in council

by admin
0 comment

Waikapu Country Town, aerial view. PC: Maui County / Shane Tegarden

Despite opposition from developers, a plan that promises to make affordable housing more affordable recently took a step closer to reality at the Maui County Council.

Congress approved Bill 107 at its first reading last week by a 5-4 vote, with MPs Alice Lee, Tasha Kama, Yuki Rei Sugimura and Mike Molina voting against. Now go to the second and last read.

Bill 107 establishes new methods for affordable housing sale price guidelines. Once enacted, it will change affordable home sales prices and limit total housing costs, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance, to 31% of gross annual income.

Council member Gabe Johnson, who introduced the bill, said the plan would Affordable Home Sales Drop 22%.

article continues below ad
article continues below ad

However, the measures questioned by various councils Months of discussion.

Molina said the plan is risky and could unintentionally undermine housing incentives.

At the Affordable Housing Commission meeting on August 18, Molina said, “I may be missing something, but I haven’t seen a developer come out to support this yet. I don’t know,” he said. I had a few suggestions. But like it or not, these guys are part of the equation, they have the bottom line and they have to stay in business. So you can’t just twist their arms and say they have to build, so unfortunately you don’t want to hand them in good faith something that might discourage them from building. ”

Affordable housing developers such as Everett Dowling, Howard Kifune Jr. and Lawrence Carnicelli testify that the measure actually prevents affordable housing.

article continues below ad

The developer said the math wouldn’t work because the cost of building the house would be higher than the selling price listed in the proposal. If the county provides subsidies to make up the difference, it must do so in a way that does not introduce undue risk to the multi-year development process.

Dowling said at the Aug. 18 meeting that his company is considering a 100-unit project. If the price of affordable housing falls, more homes will have to come to market, which will “keep out” middle-class residents, he said.

“This will force developers to raise the price of market-priced housing to subsidize affordable housing,” he said.

Instead, Dowling suggested that the county use the Affordable Housing Fund to pay for the infrastructure. This helps keep project costs down.

article continues below ad

Kifune Jr. on Aug. 18 also opposed the move, saying the real problem was making it easier for developers to build homes.

“Can you tell me how many single-family house rate simple projects are currently under construction, how many units?” he asked. “This council, this committee, has always said we are going to build 5,000 units in five years. Affordable workforce housing single-family units is not on the market, except for the projects we are currently doing. It’s not out.”

“But as Everett Dowling said, right now we’re cutting our workforce,” Kifune Jr. added.

Bill 107 also creates a program that allows developer and homebuyer subsidies to lower the cost of affordable housing. The new equation aligns the county’s pricing guidelines with the Federal Housing Administration’s lending standards.

Recent News Releases From Maui County Council The council’s Affordable Housing Committee said it addressed community concerns about possible financial challenges for developers.

“According to Affordable Housing Commission Report 22-81, the Commission addressed community concerns about possible financial challenges for developers,” the release said. “Note that affordable housing subsidies and upcoming legislation could help reduce development costs,” the report said.

You may also like