Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that the Maui County Council is in receipt of Bill 152, that will help to subsidize shovel-ready development of 100 affordable units in Pulelehua, planned for West Maui.
“I am excited to share this good news for West Maui working families,” said Mayor Victorino in a press release announcement. “After months of discussions with Pulelehua developer Paul Cheng, he has offered to pilot the recently approved reduced affordable home sales price guidelines, and to prioritize building just the affordable units in Pulelehua’s first phase of construction.”
The 304-acre Pulelehua community, approved in 2006, was purchased by Mr. Cheng six years ago. The project was planned to offer market-priced and affordable units in three phases over 10 years.
“I’ve met with the mayor and his administration to explore how a public-private partnership could expedite truly affordable housing for West Maui residents,” Cheng said in the announcement. “I wanted to model how the county and developers can work together to dramatically lower the purchase price of housing and accelerate development of truly affordable homes so Maui families can afford to stay in their homeland.”
Cheng has further committed to limiting his profit to no more than 10%, and he has dropped home sales prices for affordable units by 22% as recently legislated in Bill 107, to go into effect in late Spring 2023. He also pledged $1.6 million in down-payment assistance for first-time homebuyers wanting to purchase affordable housing in West Maui. Assistance is not limited to homes in Pulelehua and include housing opportunities under the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
“We appreciate Mr. Cheng’s commitment to people. The housing shortage and high rental and mortgage costs have forced many working families to leave Maui. Their departure hurts our community and takes a toll on private business, in addition to the public sector,” said Mayor Victorino. “I’m happy to add that County infrastructure subsidies will be used to build dual transmission lines between Pulelehua and the Lahaina wastewater treatment facility, as part of my commitment to eliminate our county’s reliance on injection wells by 2025. In addition, 100% of the wastewater generated by this project will be treated and returned to Pulelehua for irrigation, fire protection and other purposes.”
Phase 1A will offer 100 townhouses, for purchase at 60%-120% area median income, meaning a family or individual earning between $60,660- $121,320 will be eligible to purchase a home in Pulelehua.
The start of construction of Phase 1B is subject to funding approval by the Council during the FY24 Budget Session in March 2023. This phase will consist of 140 multifamily rental units priced at 80%-120% area median income, with monthly rents for studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units ranging from $1,400- $2,700, including utilities.
Pulelehua has also elected to follow the Council’s recently adopted housing lottery selection process. That prioritizes applications based on length of residency in Maui County. Cheng has also embraced a managed appreciation home resale model to ensure the first 100 homes remain affordably priced.
2022 sales prices for units in phase 1A are as follows:
The Budget Finance and Economic Development Committee, chaired by Council Vice Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, will discuss Bill 152 at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. Testimony will be accepted online via Bluejeans: https://bluejeans.com/441891331