With emphasis on affordable housing, Maui mayor outlines record-setting $1.2B budget

He stressed that affordable housing is one of his top priorities.
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 6:46 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 10:29 PM HST
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WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino laid out a record-setting proposed $1.19 billion county budget to councilmembers on Thursday.

He said affordable housing is one of his top priorities.

“The Affordable Housing Fund will continue to support affordable rentals like Front Street Apartments in Lahaina and Hale Mahaolu’s Ke Kahua project in Waiehu that will offer 120 affordable units,” Victorino said.

Victorino said although the county is mandated to set aside 3% of real property tax revenue for affordable housing, he is appropriating 7% — and that’s more than $29 million.

“These new revenues get working families into homes that they can afford not only to rent, but to obtain,” said Victorino.

Victorino also talked about his $1 million commitment to a First Time Home Buyers Program, which provides down payment assistance of up to $30,000 for new homeowners.

“We must invest in our local residents,” he said.

Victorino proposed to lower tax rates for owner occupants and requested $1.5 million for a feasibility study to find county-owned land for more homes for residents.

“Working on the extension of Imi Kala Street in the Wailuku Millyard area that needs affordable housing construction very quickly.”

Victorino is seeking re-election in November.

One of his opponents, former Judge Richard Bissen, officially announced his bid for mayor Thursday morning. He is also running on a platform of prioritizing housing and jobs for local families.

“Our platform is kamaaina prosperity, and kamaaina prosperity is a three-point agenda. We start with kamaaina housing,” Bissen said. “The second would be kamaaina jobs. Getting our people into jobs that go from high-tech to the environment, and the third is the environment.”

Also running for mayor is councilmember Mike Molina. He too has stressed the need for more affordable housing.

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