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Resolution urges water, sewer credits for DHHL

The Maui News

The Maui County Council will consider a resolution on Friday urging Mayor Michael Victorino to grant water and sewer credits to the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for homestead and agricultural lots in Lahaina.

Access to water continues to pose significant obstacles and delays for DHHL projects in West Maui, said Council Member Tamara Paltin, who holds the West Maui residency seat and introduced the resolution. In 2008, the county and DHHL signed an agreement establishing water and sewer credits at the Lahaina Wastewater Treatment Facility for the Villages of Leiali’i 1A and 1B. The credits have since expired.

“Supporting the development of Hawaiian Home Lands in West Maui will positively impact the housing supply throughout Maui,” Paltin said. “After over two decades of waiting for West Maui, Maui County can no longer shirk our responsibility to actively support the development of DHHL projects. If we are going to call ourselves a county concerned with affordable housing and social justice, it is incumbent on us to take action.”

The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, signed into law by President Warren Harding in 1921, designated approximately 200,000 acres of Crown and Hawaiian Kingdom lands for homesteading by Native Hawaiians. In 1959, the act was included as a provision of statehood for Hawaii, transferring the responsibility for managing the program to the DHHL.

“Although the Hawaiian Home Lands program is administered by the state, it is the kuleana of all Hawaii residents to do their part to ensure the beneficiaries get onto the land. That includes the counties,” Paltin said.

Members of the public can view the council meeting on Akaku channel 53 or provide testimony via the video conference link or phone number listed on the meeting agenda at mauicounty.us/agendas.

The council also will accept written testimony. For instructions on submitting written testimony, visit mauicounty.us/testify/.

For more information, visit mauicounty.us or contact the Office of Council Services at 270-7838.

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