Affordable housing must be a collaborative effort

Creating affordable housing is a collaborative necessity.

From long personal experience as a developer of affordable housing, I can express firsthand the frustration and ambiguity in the entire process. The costs, the time it takes and the continual inability to project a reasonable positive end in an already no/low profit scenario all adds up to a very high-risk venture.

Where one out of over 24 agencies and departments plus NIMBY neighbors can create lost opportunities for the needed homes and great financial loss, it is no wonder why Maui has so few affordable housing units.

What should/could happen to make a substantial change? Start off with an attitude change and a more expeditious process and processing of affordable housing projects.

Neighbors and residents should all see the value of creating affordable housing. And to help make it happen, a knowledgeable, professional, experienced affordable housing expert in county government who has the clout necessary for processing and expediting projects through the many hurdles often encountered.

And, certainly most important, we need public/private collaboration where all parties realize and understand the importance of working together, recognizing each party’s abilities and expertise.

Can it happen? Maui’s residents such as myself and colleagues who are the builders and developers, the administration, County Council and leaders like Stan Franco and Michael Williams, plus Lisa Darcy and Faith Chase, are ready to put 100 percent into it.

There are plans on the table. Are we brave enough to implement them? Hopefully!

Ray Phillips



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