Maui News

Molina Seeks Extension for Affordable Housing Appropriation Through 2015

February 11, 2010, 10:33 PM HST
* Updated February 11, 10:39 PM
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Posted by Wendy Osher

Council Vice Chair Michael Molina is seeking a continued appropriation for affordable housing.  Under a charter amendment approved four years ago, 2% of real property tax revenues go towards building and expansion of affordable housing opportunities for families within very low to moderate income levels.

The current amendment expires after this year, while the new proposal seeks a continuation through 2015.  If revenues stay consistent, Molina says an estimated $4 million could be generated annually for the Affordable Housing Fund.

“We can’t afford NOT to set these revenues aside to help our families find affordable housing and put our people back to work,” said Molina.  “this charter amendment should not only be viewed as an affordable housing initiative, but also an economic stimulus,” said Molina.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the construction of one home generates the equivalent of 3.05 full time jobs for an entire year.

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Over the last three fiscal years, the County council appropriated more than $13 million to the Affordable Housing Fund from the 2% real property tax revenue.  The council has reportedly appropriated over $10 million for approximately 240 affordable housing units.

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Over the last three fiscal years, none of the proposed affordable housing projects, as requested for appropriation by the Department of Housing and Human Concerns, have or will assist families above 80% of the county’s median income.

“The Moderate to gap income families are working teachers, police, fire fighters and hotel employees that are making money, but are unable to afford to save for descent housing,” said Molina.  “If we do not do something to help these individuals, we will lose them to the mainland and they will have to be separated from their families,” Molina said.

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