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CNHA launches new housing consolidation website, programs for Maui wildfire survivors : Maui Now


In direct response to the estimated 2,430 families or 6,283 individuals who are still in need of housing after being displaced by the Maui wildfires, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement announced today that it has launched a new centralized housing website. HelpingMaui.org will help survivors find housing, while also serving as a platform for property owners and managers to offer their properties to survivors.

“The goal of the new website is to provide a centralized site that facilitates easy navigation of available housing options and resources for Maui families,” said Kūhiō Lewis, CEO of CNHA. “To enhance transparency, the website will provide live updates on the number of families housed and those still awaiting placement.” 

Today’s press conference was held at a short-term rental property in Kīhei that CNHA recently secured a one-year lease. CNHA has also secured additional one-year leases to several short-term rentals and second homes on Maui and are in the process of relocating families into these longer-term rentals. In addition to introducing the new HelpingMaui.org website, CNHA announced the following housing programs to assist Maui residents impacted by the wildfires: 

  • Leasing Program: Maui property owners can lease their property (short- and long-term rentals, second homes, and ‘ohana units) directly to CNHA who will sublet the unit to fire-impacted families that have been screened and vetted through their program. The property owner will receive guaranteed rent payments from CNHA, and CNHA will assume the responsibility of placing and monitoring the families. Long-term and second homes will be leased at market rates and short-term rentals in West and South Maui can receive monthly rents between $3,200 – $9,000 per month. Property owners who sign-up will receive the following:
    • Guaranteed rent payments from CNHA;
    • Exemptions from Maui County real property tax; 
    • Assistance moving their future bookings to hotels; 
    • Host damage protection;
    • Opportunity to provide much needed housing stability to the community; and 
    • The possibility of avoiding any state or county plans to assess, regulate and/or restrict short-term rentals or empty homes on Maui.
  • Host Housing Support ProgramCNHA is increasing the support amount provided to eligible host households to $500 per housed individual, for a maximum monthly stipend of up to $2,000 for up to six months. The previous limit was $375 per individual, under a $1,500 monthly cap. Households across Hawai‘i that have taken in individuals or families displaced by the Maui wildfires still have the opportunity to secure financial support through the program that was launched in October.
  • ADU Loan Forgiveness Program: Launching mid-January 2024, homeowners with approved plans to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and are willing to host a displaced, fire-impacted family for up to three years can qualify for a $50,000 forgivable loan. More details on program specifics and how to apply will be available soon.  

To fund these housing initiatives, CNHA has allocated $3 million from its Kākoʻo Maui Fund for the Leasing Program ($2 million) and ADU Loan Program ($1 million). Additional support is being provided through the Maui Strong Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation ($1.25 million for Host Family Support Program) and American Red Cross ($1.5 million for Host Family Support Program and $2.4 million for Leasing Program), along with additional commitments from the State of Hawai‘i (Rental Assistance Program funds) and County of Maui, to bolster the housing programs.  

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“We know that our Maui community needs safe and stable housing—and they need it now,” says Micah Kāne, CEO and president of Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “Today’s announcement is just one of the many collaborative initiatives that we are working on with partners to address housing needs and ultimately, bring a sense of hope and security back to the community.” 

“The Red Cross is proud to be providing support to CNHA to administer the housing program and provide additional funds to families participating in the host family program,” said Amanda Ree, director of wildfire long term recovery programs with the American Red Cross. “These programs will continue to help address the need for housing on Maui and will support individuals and families displaced by the Maui wildfires as they transition from American Red Cross temporary, emergency non-congregate shelters to more permanent housing solutions.”

“Finding solutions to the housing need on Maui is truly a Kākoʻo effort, we all need to work together to help those in our community who are in need,” concluded Lewis.

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For more information, visit CNHA’s website HawaiianCouncil.org or the new HelpingMaui.org website. Individuals interested in inquiring or applying in person are encouraged to visit CNHA’s Kāko‘o Maui Resource Hub located at Maui Mall in Kahului or contact CNHA at 808-596-8155.

Source: Maui News

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