Celebrity couple’s request highlights Maui’s housing woes

Celebrity couple’s request highlights Maui’s housing woes
Carlos Penavega, left, and his wife Alexa Penavega in 2015. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) (Source: Chris Pizzello)

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - A celebrity couple's request to convert their Hawaii home into a short-term rental is landing them in the middle of a housing debate on the island of Maui.

Alexa PenaVega, star of the film “Spy Kids,” and her actor-singer husband Carlos PenaVega are seeking a permit to rent out their Kihei home. The Maui News reports the request comes two years after the couple moved from Los Angeles seeking a change of pace.

Residents at a recent planning commission meeting complained the neighborhood is already full of vacation rentals that reduce housing options for residents.

Wailuku resident Noelani Ahia says many local people who have lived in the area for generations can’t afford to stay.

The couple says renting out the house long-term would only allow them to break even.

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