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Affordable housing is needed now

August 15, 2013
Stan Franco - Ha‘iku , Maui Weekly

Thanks to Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez for his excellent article, "Affordable Housing Struggles to Compete in a Rising Housing Market," in the Aug. 1-7 issue of the Maui Weekly. I have been asking the County of Maui for 25 years for affordable housing and I am frustrated.

When Alice Lee suggested an affordable housing nonprofit, a small group of friends and I supported her efforts.

I believe the new nonprofit lasted only a couple of years. When Danny Mateo proposed the Residential Workforce Housing Policy, a small group of friends and I again supported his effort. But we have very little affordable homes and apartments to show for it.

For sure, there are some who have tried to bring affordable homes to Maui's people, including John Andersen from Na Hale O Maui and Sheri Dodson from Habitat for Humanity, but their efforts, although very important, have made only a few homes available.

If we as a community do not have a sense of urgency to make homes and apartments available to the incomes being paid on Maui, the face of the Island of Maui will not be recognizable in the next 10 years.

Kellie Pali-Cruz is right--we are losing our young people to the Mainland. I have three daughters--one lives with me and two are on the Mainland.

I am frustrated. Maui, we should be walking in front of the County Building with our signs--"Affordable Housing Now!"

Stan Franco




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