Updated: September 30, 2022
At its Friday meeting at 9 a.m., the Maui County Council will consider a bill to establish new methods for determining the sales price of an affordable dwelling unit and create a program that allows for developer and homebuyer subsidies to bring the cost of the affordable homes down.
Councilmember Gabe L. Johnson said the Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan recommended changing the affordable housing sales prices to limit the total housing costs —including principal, interest, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance — to 31% of gross annual income. This action would result in a 22% decrease in affordable housing sales prices, he said.
“Maui County has the highest affordable housing rates in the state, and many of our people are unable to qualify,” said Johnson, the chair for the Affordable Housing Committee. “With this new equation, it aligns our price guidelines with Federal Housing Administration loan standards.”
FHA loans require less down payment and are more forgiving with lower credit scores.
“This equation also factors in total housing costs, not just principal and interest, and it will prevent our hard-working local families from being severely cost burdened as we hear some families realistically paying up to 50% of their income to secure a mortgage,” said Johnson, who represents Lānaʻi.
According to Affordable Housing Committee Report 22-81, the committee addressed community concerns regarding possible financial challenges for developers. The report states that it was “noted that affordable housing subsidies and potential forthcoming legislation may help to reduce the cost of development.”
Johnson noted that Bill 107 is part of his committee’s ongoing efforts to promote affordable housing. As another example, he cited Ordinance 5369, which takes effect Nov. 1 and expands the allowable uses of the Affordable Housing Fund.
“We need our community to thrive — for parents to not have to take on two to three jobs to keep a roof over their family’s head and for people who are born and raised here the ability to stay here and raise their families,” Johnson said.
The meeting can be viewed online at https://maui.bluejeans.com/295235670. It also will be broadcast on Akakū, Channel 53. Click here for the agenda.
For more information, please contact the Office of Council Services at 808-270-8008.