Affordable Housing Maui Style

9 thoughts on “Affordable Housing Maui Style”

  1. Same situation in Vancouver and Victoria BC-wages for service industry don’t match up to cost of housing and cost of living.

  2. Judging from the vehicles collected in front of that house I guess transportation is a major cost as well. But if they were hurting they would ride a scooter instead of a SUV, right? That’s certainly the case on Mediterranean islands with a similar economy. The help comes to work on noisy scooters, meaning you can always hear it when there is a shift change.

  3. So a general strike by the cleaners and bartenders and waiters and gardeners would bring the tourist industry to its knees in days… the billionaire hotels should take a hint and provide on site housing for their workers as a benefit; it wouldn’t have to be ‘luxurious’ but it could be built into the fee schedule that the millionaires who have enough money for week long wedding parties can afford… I always cringe when I see wait staff in these situations – there are many communities in the US where the rich outnumber the worker bees by such an extent that the restaurants and hotels can’t get enough staff; the only ones willing to do the work that can actually afford to live there are the 17 to 19 year old children of the locals – right before they head off to college. I also worry about the anger this must build up; how many arrogant rich people could someone living in poverty wait on before it boiled over into …. spitting in the drinks or ? Since the code nazis are so good at coming up with new regulations, perhaps someone could think of requiring the Hiltons of the world to provide adequate on site housing for necessary staff for any hotel compound, just like they plan ahead for parking needs? Come to think of it, the rental cars of the tourists get more consideration than the cleaning ladies do.

    1. Signalfire6

      Re: a worker’s strike. A quick history of this particular resort area is in order. This part of Maui was a sugar plantation that experienced many labor strikes in the early 20th Century with no real results. Then in the 1940’s World War II created a labor shortage and workers finally had some bargaining power. For about ten seconds wages went up and conditions improved. But the sugar company made a business decision to mechanize. Workers were replace with machinery. From 1950 to 1965 the population of Maui declined significantly as people left the island for the mainland (mostly Los Angeles) looking for work. In 1971 the sugar company made another business decision to shut down most of the sugar production and diversify into real estate, hotels, and tourism. Personally, I think the luxury vacation economy will be short lived since it’s based entirely on cheap oil, commercial aviation, and a lot of Ponzi scheme paper “wealth”. Maui was a rural backwater a century ago and a century from now it will be a rural backwater again.

      1. Johnny – it will be interesting seeing what happens as peak oil really hits; things have gotten interesting now that the U.S. fracking companies have had to lay off workers and idle the rigs; without >$80 a barrel oil, their business models went poof, as did their loan payments. I think there will always be people who can afford a Hawaiian vacation; although the wealth is Ponzi-scheme in origin, it still works at the ticket counter. It’s running the hotels without cheap workers that is the real problem. I remember seeing a lot of those old sugar cane worker’s houses on the Big Island. Needed some TLC but overall not too bad, from my POV; but then again, I’ve lived in a tepee, a yurt, and a 500 year old English cottage. Now in a 116 year old cabin in the Oregon hills. I cringe at the thought of what other people call ‘luxury’ 🙂 I’d feel as at home on a Hawaiian luxury vacation being waited on as I would on a slave plantation, and I’m not at all sure if the comparison is exaggerated. BTW, your house video is one of my favorites (I’m a tiny home enthusiast); I’ve wondered if it’s (too) near the recent lava flows.

        1. My Hawaii cottage is well away from the lava flows. The most recent flow inched along through the state forest for six or seven months but it was much ado about nothing.

  4. Another thing that happens is homes that have been owned by families for years if not decades in Maui can have very steep increases in property tax to the point where they have to sell.

    1. Bob, I’ve seen the same thing happen in manufactured home parks – the rent keeps going up every year and the elderly home owners can’t make the land rent payments, nor can they sell (because of the high land rent payments) and they can’t move their houses either – a worrisome Catch-22. I’m in the process of trying to figure out the perfect climate for me (warm and sunny is calling after 10 years in Oregon, post 50 years in wet snowy climates); ideally I’d like to do something like Johnny did in Hawaii (I’ve found cheap ‘unbuildable’ land in California because there’s no water available) but it will require a whole lotta nerve to go ahead with it. I find myself wondering if I’ll live long enough to really have to deal with the ‘code Nazis’ as I so affectionately call them, especially since my inner rebel is in full bloom at this point. I have several ideas for sourcing water and living totally off grid but local ordinances don’t even want to let me try – starting with fog nets and solar generated atmospheric water, along with rain catchment. That water coming from the water company is poison anyways.

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