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Housing Choice Voucher Program reopening its wait list

By Staff | Jan 16, 2020

WAILUKU – The County of Maui announced that it will be accepting applications online for its Housing Choice Voucher Program Waiting List beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 27 until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2020.

Applications must be submitted on-line (except in instances of reasonable accommodation). Hard copy pre-applications will only be available by advanced written request to the County of Maui. No applications will be provided at the agency.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides tenant-based assistance in the form of a voucher to low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities for rental units chosen by the tenant in the private market.

The Housing Authority provides payments directly to participating property owners to offset the cost difference between tenant payments and unit rent. Program applicants choose from a variety of housing options, ranging from apartments, duplexes, single-family homes or individual rooms.

To better serve applicants and to make the application process available to all, including those who are least likely to apply, the entire application process is available online at www.waitlistcheck.com/HI004. Apply using any computer or smart phone with Internet access. Public libraries offer free computer access to library card holders.

Status information regarding placement on the list will be available on-line shortly after the closing date. Instructions regarding obtaining status information are provided during the online application process. Applicants must apply during the period the list is open for applications.

Due to limited funding availability, applications will be selected and ordered using a random lottery system. Not all applicants will be placed on the waiting list. By randomly selecting the applications received for placement on the waiting list, the process is equitable. The time and date of receipt of the application online has no bearing on whether an application will be selected for the waiting list. There is no advantage to applying immediately after the list opens.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program assistance covers the rent portion that exceeds approximately 30 percent of an eligible family’s monthly income. Any and all households may submit a pre-application. Acceptance and/or assistance is based on income verification and eligibility requirements.

In related news, Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino recently announced his disapproval of Bill 59, relating to Real Property Tax Valuations, citing concerns over the potential negative consequences of the proposed tax classifications and a lack of understanding by taxpayers.

“With all of the unknowns related to the proposed tiered rates structures, the new consolidation of classifications, and the new titles of the classifications, I feel that these changes are creating confusion for real property taxpayers,” Mayor Victorino said.

Victorino objected to the council’s new proposed real property tax classifications of combining “properties with dwellings” in the current Agricultural, Conservation, Apartment, and Residential classifications into a new classification entitled “non-owner occupied.”

Combining the classifications raised concerns due to the four classifications having different tax rates, and for Fiscal Year 2021, there can only be a single rate for the newly combined classification.

“This consolidation would have impacts based on the adopted real property tax rate,” Mayor Victorino said.

The largest group in the new “non-owner occupied” classification is the current residential classification. The classification contains a majority of the long-term rentals and has the lowest tax rate amongst the four classifications being combined to form “non-owner occupied.”

“In order for the rate to be revenue neutral, our calculations (based on the Fiscal Year 2020 certified values and rates) show that we would need a rate of $5.92 per $1,000 of assessed value,” Mayor Victorino said.

The current rates of the four classifications are: Residential – $5.60, Agricultural – $5.94, Apartment – $6.31 and Conservation – $6.43

“While I realize the tax burden could be shifted within the non-owner occupied classification through the implementation of the proposed tiered rates structure, I would like our taxpayers to have more time to review how these potential changes will affect them,” Victorino said.