Maui taps short-term rentals to ease housing crisis


Maui taps short-term rentals to ease housing crisis

Saturday, 30 Nov, 2023 0

There could soon be a short-term rentals shortage on Maui for years to come.

Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen is proposing incentives for short-term rental owners to house displaced locals.

Many Laihana residents are still displaced in hotels and other temporary accommodations after the wildfires in the summer.

A proposed bill would exempt tax on short-term vacation rentals, timeshares, and other vacation or second homes.

The mayor wants owners to rent to displaced local residents.

“I believe that a shared sacrifice is necessary at this time,” Bissen said.

“Owners who help our disaster-impacted families by making their units available will receive a tax waiver.“

Those who choose not to can help by contributing more in taxes.”

Housing officials say a rebuilding program will take years to complete.

Owners of properties worth over $1 million and who choose not to rent to long term displaced residents will pay more in property taxes.

If approved, the bill would take effect from January 1, 2024.

There are about 14,000 short-term rentals in Maui County as well as about 3,000 timeshare units.

There was a Hawaii-wide housing shortage even before the wildfire which devastated the town of Laihana.

This has led to rents more than twice the national average.

Most of the homes destroyed in Laihana were affordable housing units.



 

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Editor for TravelMole North America and Asia pacific regions. Ray is a highly experienced (15+ years) skilled journalist and editor predominantly in travel, hospitality and lifestyle working with a huge number of major market-leading brands. He has also cover in-depth news, interviews and features in general business, finance, tech and geopolitical issues for a select few major news outlets and publishers.



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