Date: July 17 – 21, 2006
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Sponsor: Kihei Community Association
Chair: J. Michael Pitchford
Subject Area: Workforce and Affordable Housing
Summary of Recommendations:
The Urban Land Institute was invited to the county of Maui, Hawaii, by the Kihei Community Association (KCA) to address the issues surrounding rapidly escalating property values in the county and the problems they have created for housing affordability. The panel provided several multifaceted, long-term workforce and affordable housing proposals. These suggestions would require constant monitoring and vigilance to determine what is working and what is not.
Maui has always been heavily dependent upon low-paying service jobs with no ability for these residents to choose to live further away in the hope of finding an affordable home. As a result there was a strong desire to seek ways of providing affordable rental and for-sale housing opportunities for the island’s workforce. Most of the problem stemmed from a shortage of supply, due to a production bottleneck, and an increase in demand. To provide affordable housing, the Maui housing market had to be able to supply more housing in general, and the supply of affordable housing would eventually match the demand for affordable housing. More housing could be developed if the regulatory constraints creating the bottleneck were revised and made more efficient. Maui County had to focus on providing affordable housing for a broad range of income levels. The inclusionary zoning ordinance (IZO) was a great tool in amending the critical shortage of workforce housing, but it would not alleviate all of the current problems. The panel found some very promising legislation in the IZO but also some that needed reevaluation and modification. Overall, improvement of the development process and ongoing administration of the affordable housing policy would be critical to the actual development and long-term retention of the workforce housing units.