MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new law passed on Saturday is aiming to create and preserve affordable housing on the Valley Isle.
Gov. David Ige signed Senate Bill 2293, which enables the state's Board of Land and Natural Resources to preserve affordable rentals at the Front Street Apartments, at a bill-signing ceremony on Maui on Saturday.
The law mandates that the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation begin the process of condemning the property's ground lease. It also appropriates $250,000 for an appraisal and other preparations to start the condemnation process — provided Maui County matches the funds.
"This measure helps to preserve much-needed affordable rental housing in Lahaina, and I want to thank all those who worked on its passage," said Sen. Rosalyn Baker, in a statement.
The bill also appropriates $30 million from the Rental Housing Revolving Fund to expedite the development of 200 multi-family rental units at the Keawe Street Apartments in the Villages of Lealii, in Lahaina.
The units are slated to be complete in 2021.
"This is a historic first step in not only saving the Front Street apartments as affordable rentals, but in creating much-needed affordable housing now for West Maui families," said Rep. Angus McKelvey, in a statement.
The Hawaii housing finance board of directors have already approved $5 million in pre-development funds.
"This new law is a great example of how the state and the counties are working together to preserve and increase housing opportunities for the people of Maui and our residents across the state," Ige said.