Attached is a letter of testimony in support of housing.
As you consider Hōkūao Housing Project (Lāna’i City) (AH-1(1)) I would like to make the following observations in support of the project:
1. The County of Maui has an asset on Lāna’i they are not using. They own more than 100 acres of undevelopable land (the Maui County Land) that has been there for approximately 30 years.
2. As most of you know, the Maui County Land, in large part, remains undeveloped because of the high cost of infrastructure on Lāna’i.
3. The County of Maui is in a unique position today because the developer of the Hōkūao Housing Project (“Hōkūao”) desires to develop a project adjacent to the County of Maui site on Lāna’i and their site will require the development of a significant amount of backbone infrastructure that will cost millions of dollars. The County of Maui Land could significantly benefit from the development of that infrastructure by allowing the Hōkūao to move forward. If up-grades are needed to the infrastructure to accommodate the Maui County Land it will be more reasonable if done in conjunction with the development of the Hōkūao. Just as important, the developer of the Hõkūao has the unique expertise to complete the necessary infrastructure.
4. All developers have their limits as I am sure those developing the Hōkūao Housing Project do. I have no misconception that the project they are proposing is, in-part, something they need to carry-out their own mission, but my plea here today is to encourage you to let them move forward under their proposed plan as quickly as possible and focus your energy on obtaining the critical spillover benefits necessary to activate the County of Maui Land. I know that their proposed project likely falls short of the project the County of Maui would prefer, but if the County of Maui and the developer could work together the County of Maui could put themselves in a position to more directly control the amount, timing, and type of housing that the community desires because those units would be built upon the land that the County of Maui owns. They could develop both rentals and for-sale and could tailor the delivery to the Area Medium Incomes within the community.
5. From a timing perspective if the County of Maui lets Hōkūao move forward then another project on the County of Maui land may not be far behind if the Federal and State funding is available.
6. As a side note, the Hōkūao Housing Project will be offering, within their own development, units that are becoming the most difficult to develop. Developing projects below 80% of AMI have access to Federal and State subsidies, but units between 80% AMI and 120% AMI will become the most underserved segment of housing because those tenants and owners can still not afford the housing and do not qualify for the significant amount of federal subsidies that exist below 80% of AMI.
In conclusion, it is my belief that the County of Maui should focus on making their own land on Lāna’i developable by obtaining the spillover benefits the Hōkūao Housing Project will provide.
Housing is needed on Lana'i, the last project for residents was Olopua which was in 1992. I support the efforts of Pulama Lana'i, we have many residents crowding in homes with parents and grandparents. This project would relieve that stress. Mahalo
As the Maui County representative for the Board of Education, I am well aware of the great need for teacher housing on the island of Lānaʻi. For example the State Department of Education has been unable to attract teachers for language arts and math at the Middle School at Lānaʻi school due to the lack of housing on the island. We are doing a disservice to the keiki there when we are unable to fill qualified teacher positions because we cannot provide basic needs and services for them. I am in support of Pūlama Lānaʻi's application to build additional housing on the island. They have been very generous in offering housing to our teachers but there are limited supplies and more housing is needed. Please offer your support for this project and allow it to move forward.
ʻO wau me ka ʻoia ʻiʻo,
I support the Hokuao project, Lanai has a desperate need for housing and this project provides affordable housing to many people who are living in conditions where 6 or 8 people are living in very small plantation home. We need housing now, please support Hokuao!
Good morning Affordable Housing Committee,
On the proposed development on Lanai, I suggest that you weigh the merits of the proposal in light of Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan. For example, the affordable homes proposed to be built for those with household incomes from 80% to 140%. The Plan says the need is for homes within the 60% to 100% AMI range. I have not read the proposal so I will leave my comment to that for now. Thanks.
We support this housing project. Please see attached.
I support the concept of more housing on Lanai but have concerns about two aspects of this project. Since the Plantation days, employees of “The Company” and their families have been hesitant to speak out against a Company position regardless of who the Company is. I have heard concerns about the project and am therefore passing them on since I’m independent.
Regarding location, the project is in close proximity to our sewage treatment plant. The Company did a 60-day air quality study; however, was the study about whether or not the air would be healthy or also about unpleasant odors? Did the study look at wind direction for the prior year to get an idea of how often odors would blow towards the project? The project is relatively close to stores and restaurants, but this proximity isn’t a major issue as most people aside from students don’t walk. The project could be sited elsewhere that wouldn’t involve a longer walk for students than for students from other housing areas such as Lalakoa I, II and III.
The second concern is that homes would only be available for rent. Lanai hasn’t had a single family dwelling project with homes for sale for almost 30 years. I recognize that the project is a sizable investment for the Company and therefore should benefit it. Most potential renters would either be Company employees or people who benefit those employees or the community such as education, health and utility company workers. Offering some homes for sale would give people the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of home ownership and the chance to build generational wealth. The Company could retain control over a portion of the homes but sell some as a trade-off for the 201H authorization.
I support this housing project. There’s a need for housing on our island. Please don’t let this opportunity pass us by.
Aloha Committee Chair Johnson and Members of the Committee,
Thank you for the opportunity to submit written testimony. I am neither in support or opposition of the planned rental development on Lāna‘i. Instead, I would like to comment on my observations made over my short time living on the island and speaking with people in the community.
Please see attached PDF with comments. Mahalo!
I totally support this project. My testimony is attached.
I sold everything on the mainland and moved to Lana'i in December of 2020. It took about 2 months to get housing. My family had a place to stay during that time. Had I needed to bring them with me immediately to Lana'i, I would not have had a place for them to live. Housing was by far my largest concern moving here. I believe that in order sustain the growing community, more house is desperately needed. I fully support the affordable housing project.
Aloha Councilmember Gabe Johnson & Committee Members:
While I don't live on Lanai, I work there and I support the Hokuao affordable housing project as it will help the economy as well as the community on the island.
Being the first affordable housing project on the island, it gives people the ability to move out of crowded/multigenerational housing to have the ability to grow and mature without having the leave the island to do so. The expanded housing will also benefit the work force increasing the ability to bring badly needed talent to the island, now having a place to call home. Finally, the technological and efficient design of the houses will lessen the carbon footprint and generally lighten the use of the current overtaxed utilities on the island.
The added housing will benefit all in in multiple ways as well as helping extend the life and the community of the island with not only parks and a community center, bringing the community even closer together.
Please vote in favor of the Hokuau 201H Residential Housing Project as I fully support this economic and island community wide vision.
With much gratitude,
The island life has changed but many families still maintain their original homes. Their children want to return to Lana’i to work and raise a family here. However there are no affordable rental properties for the families who wish to return. It’s hard having two or more families living in a two or three bedroom house and sharing ONE bathroom. Lani needs more affordable rental properties. The island has many job opportunities for the children to return home who work, raise their families and to enjoy the wonders of our beautiful island. (Many of them were born and raised here). Please I strongly support to have affordable housing rental properties on Lana’i. Our community is growing and we need to know that there will be a place where we may be able to live within our needs. We need a home to feel safe and secure.
I write to you in support of the Hōkūao 201H Housing Development.
We are in desperate need of additional housing here on Lᾱna'i. I've seen first hand how multigenerational families are crammed into one home not by choice, but because of no housing available. This project would solve not only a general housing problem we have, but also a lack of affordable housing.
Please vote to support and approve this much needed housing project.
Robert and Alicia Bennett
Please see attachment
Aloha! We fully in favor of the Hokuau Housing project. Attached is a letter for our acknowledgment of support. Please support our future. Thank you for your time. AJ Vergara
Hi I am in support of Hokuao Housing project on Lanai. Please support this project.
I also have attached list of names and signed by residents of Lana'i who are in support of this Housing project.
Aloha, Roger Alconcel
Thank you for allowing us a chance to support an import project for our Island, please see attached letters in support of the Hōkūao 201H Residential Project.
My name is Noemi Barbadillo and I was raised here on Lāna‘i. I left Lāna‘i for a few years and returned home 8 years ago.
I want to testify in support of the Hōkūao housing project.
When I returned home in 2005 to work for the Lanai Resorts, which later became Four Season, I was in need of housing. At that time I was offered a small 2 bedroom 1 bath small plantation house. I remember that I did not want that house and asked for another house – and after waiting for a bit, I was offered a slightly bigger, more modern house.
I left in 2006 and then returned home in 2013. When I returned, I did not ask for housing because I knew then that housing was tight. I was fortunate that we could move in to our family home and live with my parents.
Housing was tight in 2013 and here we are 2021. There are lot more businesses here, the hotels need a lot more employees than they needed in 2013, there are more teachers needing housing, there are people who want to return home and are not as lucky as me, who had the choice to move into our family home with my parents. The home they grew up in no longer exists.
I hear and see it every day in my personal life as well as my work life – Lāna‘i needs housing. I am not testifying as an employee of Pūlama Lāna‘I, but as a resident of Lāna‘i. This is a wonderful thing that the landowner is doing for the current and future residents of Lāna‘i. Building Hōkūao will not only increase the housing market, but will give people a chance to move into a beautiful home. I have seen a home similar to what will be built – and if I were to come home today, I would definitely choose to live in Hōkūao. While it may not be for everyone, it will be for some, and for those who are currently in housing that choose to move to Hōkūao, that will open housing that may be more suitable for others.
Please approve the Hōkūao project. This project will allow families to “breathe” as they will have the option to move into their own space and not have to live in generational housing. This will give residents of Lāna‘i a chance enjoy living in a home that we would not have a chance to live in unless we moved to a bigger city or to the mainland. Hōkūao will make coming home a much more pleasant experience for everyone – whether they chose to live there, or because another unit opened up for them to move into, or because this is how they want to live.