As Maui’s economy falters, advocates call for more protections to keep people in their homes

To talk about increasing access for Maui's working class and immigrant communities is Sergio Alcubilla, executive director of the Hawaii Workers Center
Published: Sep. 3, 2023 at 9:16 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 3, 2023 at 6:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Workers Center and Maui Tenants Association are pushing for protection of affordable housing after the loss of properties during the Maui wildfires.

As fears of evictions grow, housing advocates want government officials to create a disaster-prompted eviction moratorium and rent freeze.

Sergio Alcubilla, executive director of the Hawaii Workers Center, said the nonprofit is calling for “an equitable and just recovery” for vulnerable communities like the working class and immigrants.

“We make sure that the people directly impacted are front and center in the recovery efforts and second that no one is left behind,” he said.

The Maui Tenants Association sent a letter to Gov. Josh Green and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen that includes a proposal for an eviction moratorium and a freeze on rent increases.

“The supply of affordable housing in Maui was already low to begin with and then demand is always high and now with the fires the supply is even less,” Alcubilla said.

“I think that’s where that sense of frustration is. Because they hear there are so much resources coming to Maui, but they haven’t be able to access them.”

They are also calling for additional resources for people having issues due to their immigration status or limited English language capabilities.

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