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Cochran proposes affordable housing legislation

By Staff | Nov 16, 2017

West Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran said, “Other jurisdictions have passed similar legislation and have shown long-term affordability measures such as this to be a crucial part of building their affordable housing inventory.”

WAILUKU – A bill has been introduced to the Maui County Council to require housing to be kept affordable for an extended period through deed restrictions, West Maui Councilmember Elle Cochran announced.

The bill would amend the county’s residential workforce housing policy and conditions for the use of county affordable housing fund money.

Maui County Code currently allows affordable homes to be sold at market rate after five, eight or ten years of ownership.

“Every five to ten years, we lose every affordable unit that’s been built,” stated Cochran. “Therefore, we are unable to grow and keep an inventory of real, affordable homes.”

The proposed bill includes a formula to establish a maximum resale price for affordable housing units based upon several factors, including the original subsidy of the home and the years of homeownership.

The proposal manages appreciation in a way that allows the homeowner to build equity while keeping the resale price below market rates. The formula was adapted from a community land trust that has been successful in building and maintaining affordable homes in Maui.

“By limiting the rapid appreciation of affordable units driven by market forces, we will protect and maintain an affordable pool of housing for our workforce. To solve our housing crisis for the long term, we must preserve the limited inventory of affordable housing we have in Maui County and ensure it’s available for our next generations, too,” said Cochran.

Call the office of Councilmember Cochran at (808) 270-5512 for questions.