Bill seeks to limit appreciation of affordable homes

The Maui News

A bill to utilize deed restrictions to maintain the longevity and inventory of affordable housing has been introduced by County Council Member Elle Cochran.

Currently, the county’s residential workforce housing policy and conditions for use of funds from the county’s affordable housing fund allow for affordable homes to be sold at market rates after five to 10 years of ownership, Cochran’s news release Friday said.

The proposed bill includes a formula to establish a maximum resale price for affordable housing units, based upon factors including the original subsidy of the home and the years of homeownership.

The proposal manages appreciation of properties in a way that allows the homeowner to build equity while keeping the resale price below market rates, the news release said. The formula was adapted from a community land trust that has been successful in building and maintaining affordable homes on Maui.

“Every five to 10 years, we lose every affordable unit that’s been built,” Cochran said. “Therefore, we are unable to grow and keep an inventory of real, affordable homes.

“By limiting the rapid appreciation of affordable units driven by market forces, we will protect and maintain an affordable pool of housing for our workforce. To solve our housing crisis for the long term, we must preserve the limited inventory of affordable housing we have in Maui County.”

Cochran said that other communities have passed similar measures “and have shown long-term affordability measures such as this to be a crucial part of building their affordable housing inventory.”

For more information, contact Cochran at 270-5512.