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Ask The Mayor

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: I’m a Hana resident and awaiting much needed affordable housing in Hana. What is the status of the Habitat for Humanity Affordable Hana Housing Project?

A: Mahalo for your question and I wholeheartedly agree that we need more affordable housing for the Hana community. That is why I transmitted a proposed budget amendment to the County Council on July 10.

The proposed amendment to the fiscal year 2020 budget would add an appropriation of $5 million for Habitat for Humanity to move forward with the development of affordable housing.

The 100 percent Affordable Hana Housing Project includes land acquisition and new construction of 25 single-family homes with an affordability period of 30 years. The project includes five units at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI), seven units at or below 60 percent AMI and 13 units at or below 100 percent AMI. The proposed bill is currently sitting in the Economic Development and Budget Committee.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity Maui, please call 242-1140 or visit https://www.habitat-maui.org/.

Q: How much does it cost to renew my Hawaii driver’s license and is it a flat rate? I am over the age of 70 and I have to renew my license every two years. Yes, there is an argument that a renewal every two years is a good idea for senior drivers, but it places a financial burden on fixed-income older drivers who have to renew more frequently. Thank you in advance for your response.

A: Thank you for reaching out to me and I understand your concerns. The driver’s license fees, which are set by the budget ordinance, are currently $10 per year. This means that the cost of a one-year license is $10, a two-year license is $20, an eight-year license is $80, etc.

In 2010, the County of Maui transitioned from a flat-rate price to a per-year fee so it would make costs fair across the board. This way, seniors wouldn’t be penalized for having to renew every two years.

If you’d like to see these fees changed, I encourage you to reach out to your County Council member and provide testimony/comments during the fiscal year 2021 budget session.

For more information on Hawaii driver’s licenses, please call our Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing at 270-7363 or visit https://www.mauicounty.gov/1328/Motor-Vehicle-Licensing.

*Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at askthemayor@mauicounty.gov, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.