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Third annual landlord summit aims to open doors, help those in need of affordable housing

The home pictured is a recent Na Hale O Maui sale in Kahului. The home was appraised at $495,000 and the NHOM price was at $260,000. The 3-bedroom, 2-bath home has 1,080 sq. ft. of living area on a 7,501 sq. ft. lot. Back and side yards are fenced. The interior was freshly painted, new dual glazed windows were installed, and a new range and refrigerator were purchased along with wooden window blinds and a solar hot water heater.

The Realtors Association of Maui (RAM), in partnership with the County of Maui, the Governor’s Office and the Maui Homeless Alliance, will sponsor the third annual Maui County Landlord Summit on Wednesday, July 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului. Current and future landlords and property managers are invited to attend this free event to learn how they can help reduce homelessness on Maui by making more rental dwellings available to those who need housing the most.

Finding safe and affordable housing is a significant hurdle for many low-income or homeless individuals and families. While they may be approved for a subsidized housing program through a local nonprofit agency or have a Section 8 voucher, many face the difficulty of finding a landlord who will approve their rental application.

Underwritten by RAM, the Maui County Landlord Summit was designed to bring landlords into the same room as the agencies that provide financial support and other services to housing-challenged residents. The summit also aims to demystify and destigmatize Maui County’s Section 8 Program and other support services, while educating property owners and property managers about the social service programs and services available to them. Among other things, the summit will feature discussions on a variety of landlord-specific issues and a panel discussion featuring speakers from various agencies.

“Maui has a severe housing shortage, and as leaders on housing issues, the Realtors Association of Maui feels it is our duty to raise awareness, educate others and help find solutions,” said RAM Government Affairs Director Lawrence Carnicelli. “Housing is difficult for many Maui families. By working with landlords and the multitude of agencies gathering at the Maui County Landlord Summit, we hope to help some of these families find a light at the end of the tunnel. This may be only one step, but we, as an organization, are trying to do everything we can.”

Participants in this year’s Maui County Landlord Summit will include RAM, the Office of the Governor, Office of the Mayor, Maui County Department of Housing and Human Concerns, Maui Homeless Alliance, Legal Aid Society, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Family Life Center, Catholic Charities of Hawaii and Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.

“This may be only one step, but we, as an organization, are trying to do everything we can,” Carnicelli said. “Maui is a small community—and one big ohana.”

All property owners or representatives of property owners are encouraged to attend this year’s Maui County Landlord Summit. There is no cost to attend; advanced registration is required and the deadline to register is Friday, July 6. A buffet lunch is included in the event. To register, call 270-7805.

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