Governor Green announced on March 27, 2024, he is not going to pursue a moratorium on short-term rentals on Maui. He emphasized his administration is committed to working with partners across all counties to crack down on illegal listings and those engaging in deceptive acts and practices. Some complaints include landlords evicting long-term tenants illegally to rent at higher disaster supported rates. If these incidents are validated, the property would not be eligible for rent under the disaster program.

“We will not need a short-term moratorium on Maui,” Green said. “We do need more housing constantly. We have to take in hand the illegal short-term rentals. But we won’t have to do the moratorium because we have reached a minimum number of units to successfully house our impacted families. We have enough units across Maui, but we still have some shortage of units in West Maui.”

The state will pay West Maui property owners up to $11,000 per month to rent homes to fire survivors.

The governor’s renewed appeal to property owners came as he unveiled a long-anticipated legal settlement fund for people killed or injured by the fires. The $175 million One Ohana fund will provide $1.5 million each to families of those who perished, and those who were seriously injured.

FEMA and the state have made progress in finding homes for thousands of households displaced by the fires, including people who have been living in hotel rooms for months.

FEMA has secured just under 1,500 units under a program where it leases properties to be used by fire victims. But only a third of the units are in West Maui, where people work and have children in school. As a result relatively few places elsewhere on Maui have been moved into.

As a consequence, Green said he’s seeking to secure 850 additional units in West Maui from property owners now using the properties as short-term rentals for tourists. The state will pay up to $5,000 per month for a one-bedroom home, $7,000 for two bedrooms, $9,000 for a three-bedroom home and up to $11,000 for a home with four bedrooms. For comparison, a hotel room at $1000 per day is costing the state over $30,000 per month.

The number of disaster victims needing housing fluctuates, as some find other resources or are eliminated from support. Mid February, there were approximately 820 households were deemed to be FEMA ineligible still housed in hotels, with plans by the state to start finding resources for those families elsewhere.The ineligible families and individuals include undocumented noncitizens, people who were homeless before the fire and 20 families from Micronesia. In the same time frame 1,150 families sheltering under the Red Cross contract were FEMA eligible for FEMA assistance. That support costs $1000 per day per family.

As of March 27, the state reported there are still 3109 individuals (not families) still in hotel rooms.