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Green says no moratorium on short-term rentals in Maui as housing goals reached

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(The Center Square) – Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said he will not put a moratorium on short-term rentals in Maui.

The governor threatened the moratorium as a way to house victims of the August wildfire, but the state has reached the minimum number of units needed.

The attorney general is forming a task force to “crack down” on illegal short-term rentals, the governor said. Legislation is also planned for this session, Green said.

More than 60% of families affected by the fire are now in long-term housing, Green said. Another 850 housing units are under construction with an anticipated completion date of mid-summer.

“Despite the adversity and devastation its people have faced, Maui’s resilience has been remarkable,” Green said. “Just as its communities have been unwavering in their tenacity, our commitment to supporting Maui remains just as strong. My administration’s progress reflects this dedication as it provides immediate assistance and lays the groundwork for long-term recovery.”

Green is asking lawmakers for $297 million for temporary housing in Maui. He announced the One ‘Ohana Fund last year, a $175 million public-private partnership that will help Maui victims recover. The state will contribute $65 million to the fund.

The governor said the state’s financial picture is strong, with a general fund carryover balance of $691 million to $981 million in fiscal year 2024 and $350 million to $650 million in fiscal year 2025.

Long-term recovery is likely to take three to five years, Green said.

The Maui fire killed 101 people and displaced 12,000 residents, according to the governor. Nearly 4,000 properties were destroyed, causing an estimated $4 to $6 billion in property damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez said earlier this month that phase one of the investigation would be released on April 17.

The Fire Safety Research Institute, which is working with the attorney general’s office on the investigation, experienced unexpected delays in compiling the report, Lopez said.

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