Housing at Lahaina project is a great start

It’s great that the our leaders acknowledge Lahaina needs affordable housing, especially for those helping the community in Lahaina. The schools in Lahaina have too high a revolving door because it’s too expensive to live in Lahaina and commute. Sometimes one substitute teacher is watching six classrooms in the cafeteria because there are not enough teachers nor substitute teachers. Some classes are taught by substitutes all year long because there is a shortage of teachers.

As far as first responders, many live in other parts of Maui and commute to Lahaina due to the lack of affordable housing. So when there is an emergency, like the unprecedented Lahaina fire of 2018, that requires all hands on deck, the response is not immediate because first responders have to commute an hour all the way from Wailuku or Kihei, where it’s more affordable to live. Or the island is cut off from help if the fire cuts off the pali.

The Maui News article from May 28 “Na Hale O Maui blesses project, pours foundation on first lot” shows how this housing project is a great “start” to remedying this problem, but nowhere near solving it. Only 12 homes to fulfill this need for affordable housing to get our community workers in Lahaina is a very small dent in the bucket.

Kanani Higbee



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