Yesterday 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.”