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MAUI’s $1.6 BILLION AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN PUSHED AS “BILL 10” GETS A VETO

A consultant unveils it's preliminary $1.6B Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan for Maui County. Just days later the heated "Bill 10" also got a vote...

“Bill 10” would give Maui the title of second most restrictive affordable-housing law in the country only behind the cities of Aquinnah in Massachusetts and Santa Paula and Oxnard in California, all of which have 100% affordable housing requirements.

MAUI, USA – Just as the Hawaiian Community Trust (a non-profit contracted by the County Of Maui) pitched it’s draft $1.6 Billion Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan the county was also set to vote just days later on the heated controversial “Bill 10” bill.

Bill 10 & The 201H Affordable Housing Law

“Bill 10” was developed and set out for a vote with the belief and intentions that if you can raise the mandatory percentage of affordable housing units within a development; you will then in-turn automatically increase the speed in which these units will be available to residents in need of housing. The bill has shown to be very controversial and debated within the community. Becoming heated at times not all people think that it will work as intended.

Days after the new $1.6B affordable housing pitch another item was on the table; “Bill 10” was up for a vote and passed with a 6-3 vote as Council Members Alice Lee, Tasha Kama and Yuki Lei Sugimura dissented. Bill 10 would require that 201H fast-tracked housing projects have at least 75 percent affordable units unless a lower percentage greater than 50 percent is approved by council.

“Bill 10”, a new inclusionary zoning law for 201H affordable housing projects, which, if was signed by Mayor Mike Victorino, would have increased the county’s affordable housing requirement from 50 percent upto 75 percent — though the council would have been able to give special approval to projects above 50 percent and below 75 percent.

If signed it would have made Maui the second most restrictive affordable-housing law in the country, only behind the cities of Aquinnah in Massachusetts and Santa Paula and Oxnard in California, all of which have 100% affordable housing requirements.

BILL 10 VETOED BY MAYOR VICTORINO

Per Maui County Press Release:

Yesterday (April 19, 2021) Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino submitted his opposition to Bill 10 out of his deep concern for County residents who urgently need housing.

“I certainly appreciate the Maui County Council’s good intentions behind this legislation. In theory, Bill 10 would require more affordable housing to be built, but in reality, history has shown that such additional restrictions have the opposite effect,” explained Mayor Victorino. “I am concerned that increasing affordability requirements mirrors changes made to the Residential Workforce Housing Policy by the Council fifteen years ago. Only three workforce housing units were developed between 2006 and 2014. Councilmembers at that time reverted back to the original affordability requirements, which yielded hundreds of new homes. Our hardworking families simply can’t afford to wait years to see if it will work this time around. Maui County is still recovering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and if we fail to learn from the mistakes of our predecessors, we are destined to repeat them.”

Mayor Victorino specified his objections to Bill 10 by citing Maui County’s Countywide Policy Plan that identifies a variety of goals, objectives, policies and actions toward expanding housing opportunities for our residents that the Council could pursue, none of which are included in Bill 10. “To expand housing for our residents, the Countywide Policy Plan calls for innovative thinking, public-private partnerships, streamlining review processes, infrastructure development and many other policies that we should be working towards,” explained Mayor Victorino.

Mayor Victorino believes Bill 10 adds another layer of regulation that would further delay development of workforce housing and increase costs to residents. He believes streamlining regulations and improving predictability in planning, permitting and Council review processes is necessary for developers to move large affordable housing projects forward.

“We must consider our teachers, plumbers, firefighters, nurses and all other skilled professionals who keep our community strong. These hard-working citizens will be hurt most by this policy,” said Mayor Victorino. “We know from experience that more restrictions result in fewer homes. Instead, let’s work together with all parties to find creative ways to encourage construction of more housing that our working families need so urgently.”

BILL 10’s FATE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVANCEMENT

As Bill 10’s approval has been vetoed by the mayor the County Council has stated publicly that it vows to override the veto and continue as litigation on the matter starts to begin.

June 1, 2021 is the date for which Executive Director Jeff Gilbreath has to complete the final draft of its $1.6 Billion dollar vision in which his group, Hawaiian Community Trust, was contracted to perform in November 2020.

During his pitch and findings Jeff was quoted as saying:

“We know that the federal infrastructure bill is coming and it’s coming quickly through Congress,” he said. “It is our understanding that for new growth development, new affordable housing development, the federal government will be looking for a dollar-for-dollar match. This is a huge opportunity to put Maui County as the leader here in Hawaii on affordable housing development, (and) to position the county so you have the infrastructure funds necessary to leverage this federal investment in a big way, and we’re going to need it.”

With the current state of housing in the United States (Bylt Background Story) and political climates we will most likely see sweeping similar policies reaching all geographic locations throughout North America and the United States as pushes for more zoning and zoning exclusion reform has gained momentum.

You can view the RFP for the Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan here:

RFP Issued July 10, 2020

Addendum 1 Issued July 24, 2020

Addendum 2 Issued July 24, 2020

Notice of Award Issued Issued August 27, 2020

 

Via The Bylt Team

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