Around the state, the cost of housing has spiked higher and faster than wages. That has left a gap for what economists call “workforce housing” — housing that is inexpensive enough so that people who work in the area can live there on what they are paid. There’s a new workforce housing project in the works on Maui and this one involves rental units. Colleen Uechi of the Maui News has more.
Carol Reimann says Maui faces a shortage of housing—especially rental housing.
She’s the Director of the county’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns, and she’s welcoming a new project planned for Wailuku.
Two real estate firms want to build a 324-unit workforce rental project at the corner of Waiale Road and Kuikahi Drive. That puts it close to shops, parks and bus stops. Foodland, Longs and Starbucks are just across the street.
The apartments will be a mix of studios and one to three bedroom units.
The complex will also include a mix of incomes. Nearly 200 apartments will be workforce rentals, for families making 80 to 140-percent of Maui’s median income. 130 more will be unrestricted rentals at market rates.
Plans call for nine three-story buildings on 14 acres. There will also be a recreation center, swimming pool and children’s play areas.
Consultant Vince Bagoyo says the project is being put together by California-based Legacy Partners and O‘ahu-based Pier Management Hawai‘i LLC. He says the two real estate firms expect to submit an application to the county by this fall, and will likely ask the project to be fast-tracked.