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Affordable housing project proposed in Hana

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WAILUKU >> A much-needed affordable housing project has been proposed in the rural region of Hana on eastern Maui.

GTH Land Co. wants to build two dozen homes estimated to cost between $250,000 and $445,000 apiece, the Maui News reported.

Maui County Council member Bob Carroll said groups including Self Help Housing Corp. are finishing the last of 14 other affordable homes in Hana — the first in the area in about 40 years.

“We still really, really need more housing,” Carroll said.

Housing is so scarce that multiple families live in many homes.

“We had people leave Hana,” he said. “It’s just too hard (to find housing).”

Some areas are still trying to recover from the recession, County Department of Housing and Human Concerns Director Carol Reimann said.

Impending closures of the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. plantation and Makena Beach & Golf Resort will also have an impact, Reimann said.

“I think affordable housing would be welcomed anywhere on the island,” she said. “There hasn’t been much affordable housing because of the economic situation.”

Habitat for Humanity would connect prospective homeowners with financing for the proposed GTH Land Co. project.

The homes will be built on less than 7 acres of a nearly 73-acre property owned by GTH and Thomas Hoeffken.

Most of the $2.9 million project’s costs will be self-funded or deferred until construction is finished.

People can comment on a draft environmental impact assessment through May 9.

The assessment says mostly non-native vegetation is on the proposed housing site. No endangered or threatened species were found.

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