Mon, Jan 22, 2024 1:20 PM
By Ria Joseph, The Center Square
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said he will declare a moratorium on short-term rentals in West Maui if owners don't step forward.
The governor renewed his plea for owners of short-term rentals in his State of the State address on Monday.
“If we can dedicate just 10% of these homes to displaced Lahaina families — we can house them all,” he said. "If not enough partners step forward to join us as we approach March 1st, I will be forced to declare a moratorium on all short-term rentals in West Maui, until we find enough housing for the displaced families."
To make housing more affordable for Hawaiian residents, where out-of-state residents own 52% of all short-term rentals, Green proposes reforming housing policies to return vacation housing to the long-term rental market.
“I will sign into law any bill the Legislature sends me that will help move short-term rentals and vacant investment properties owned by non-residents into our local housing market — to increase supply and bring down prices for our families,” Green said. “We have to take further action to return thousands of short-term rentals to the local housing market,” Green declared, suggesting that legislative action may become necessary if building additional housing and incentives fail to produce enough affordable housing.
Infrastructure and housing remain the top priority for Hawaii’s government, Green said. The supplemental budget for the fiscal year 2025 includes $373 million for infrastructure and housing.
“But building alone won’t solve our housing crisis," Green said. "We need to find new ways to make buying or renting a home more affordable in Hawaii.”