Over the past several months, we have been working with the tenants of Front Street Apartments, a 142-unit complex in Lahaina that houses 300 low-income residents. The complex was built in 2001 using low-income housing tax credits with the stipulation that it would remain affordable for 50 years. However, the developer discovered a loophole that would allow it to end the affordability requirements and convert all of the units to market-rate rentals in 2019.
State legislators took note and introduced SB1266, a bill which would have kept Front Street Apartments affordable. Residents showed an outpouring of support for the measure, with dozens testifying. The bill made it through both houses, but unfortunately was deferred at the end of session, leaving only two years to preserve the complex’s affordability.
In the coming weeks and months, Hawaiʻi Appleseed will continue working with residents along with county and state officials to keep Front Street Apartments affordable. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help with this project.